The COVID-19 gender hole: What’s subsequent?

Two years into the pandemic, work-from-home remains to be the brand new regular for girls. Right here is how one platform is making an attempt to help girls making the transition to freelancing.

Picture: iStock / monkeybusinessimages

A 12 months after COVID-19, a pattern took maintain throughout the nation–almost 3 million women dropped out of the workforce. The resignations and layoffs because of the world pandemic represented a significant shift–beforehand, girls had been rising their participation within the workforce, even in better numbers than males in 2020. A brand new report exhibits {that a} huge cause for the “Nice Resignation” was care obligations, which primarily affected girls.

“In December 2021, 21.5% of females cited care as the rationale for being out of the workforce, much like the 20.8% pre-pandemic, whereas for males the numbers had been 5.1% and 4.2%, respectively,” according to US News.

This information mustn’t come as a shock, because the pandemic put an additional shift of working girls who had been out of the blue saddled with childcare and elder care duties. It additionally took a better toll on girls with lower-wage jobs and minority girls, who usually tend to be taking up further duties at work and residential.

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SEE: COVID-19 office coverage (TechRepublic Premium)

COVID-19 highlighted the truth that girls in tech had been additionally at greater danger, and their lower-level positions–in accordance with Pew Analysis, solely 4.8% of Fortune 500 CEOs are girls, and solely 22% of individuals on the boards of Fortune 500 corporations are girls–had been extra prone to be lower when budgets are slashed.

Ladies being compelled out of the workforce is an issue with long-term penalties, as properly, since we’d like girls’s voices with a view to innovate and make progress, and we’d like them as mentors and position fashions for a youthful technology. In earlier TechRepublic reporting, Nancy Wang, founder and CEO of Advancing Ladies in Product, warned that “gender variety actually impacts the notion of profession mobility.”

The state of affairs additionally presents a possibility, nevertheless, in that flexibility could assist improve work satisfaction, particularly for working dad and mom. New Pew research exhibits that 59% of staff who’re capable of earn a living from home are doing so–lower than the 71% of these in October 2020, however nonetheless considerably greater than the 23% working remotely pre-COVID.

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SEE: The COVID-19 gender hole: How the disaster has created a brand new avenue for entrepreneurs (TechRepublic)

Christina Petersen is the co-founder and CPO of Worksome, a platform that helps freelancers join with job alternatives–partnering straight with Fortune 500 corporations within the U.S. and internationally. She has centered her efforts on serving to girls discover a path to profession success exterior of the glass ceiling discovered within the company office.

Petersen works with women and men, however because the pandemic has seen an “uptick in girls.”

In the course of the Nice Resignation–which she calls the “Nice Renegotiation”–extra workers have change into “aware about what didn’t work.”

“They’d time to mirror,” Petersen stated. “They’re contemplating totally different profession paths, equivalent to freelancing, primarily based on their life circumstances.” Petersen’s purpose is to assist improve flexibility for staff, which she believes will contribute to a “sustainable work-life steadiness.”

Corporations post-COVID have to encourage staff if they need them to return to the workplace, she stated. She stated she personally thinks a hybrid mannequin may be ultimate, however now the bargaining energy has “shifted,” she stated, and workers are demanding extra.

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Within the tech area, many working girls have been saddled with managing childcare in addition to a full-time workload, and Petersen has labored on a brand new framework known as “7 Tiers of Flexibility” to assist corporations retain their most beneficial feminine workers.

SEE: The COVID-19 gender hole: What employers can do to maintain girls on board (TechRepublic)

The reintegration of girls into the workforce has been difficult, and organizations ought to be aware of what they should deliver to the desk.

In response to knowledge offered by Worksome, 72% of those that began freelancing through the pandemic say they’re happier than working of their earlier full-time roles. And work-life steadiness is a very powerful cause for 78% of respondents to make the change to freelancing. And simply barely over half of the respondents are literally incomes extra, as properly. Making certain that these girls are happy of their new roles needs to be a precedence for managers, along with making the workplace versatile, ought to they wish to return.

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