We all can agree that the pandemic was a merciless phenomenon that surprised many if not all in the global sphere.
Since 2020, the world, work and life as we knew it has changed. Among those most challenged by these disruptions are working women.
For instance, working women who are also mothers found it more challenging to remain employed. Some with the needs to care for their family and parents were forced to leave the workforce abruptly.
Gallup reported that, “Women disproportionately assumed caregiving responsibilities – often at the expense of their careers and overall well-being.”
Evidently, most working women especially working mothers reported having experienced emotional and mental distress—and complicated life economically as the challenges of managing the household responsibilities increased.
According to Gallup, “globally, women reported higher rates of stress, sadness and worry than men -- and they're more likely to report that their mental health was negatively affected by the pandemic. In the U.S. and Canada, 62% of working women reported experiencing stress "a lot of the day" the previous day -- 10 percentage points higher than working men and a significant increase from 2019 levels (51%).”
Depending on whether you were a mother, a caretaker or a single woman with various responsibilities that warranted your attention, mental energies, and self-involvement—only time will tell what the impact of these past few years will be in the grand scheme of things.
Whatever the case, the stats are clear in conveying the underlying fears that affected women unlike their counterpart men, on the account of career advancement and family and wellbeing.
If you are a career woman, a mother, and have to take care of your elderly parent for instance, you already have extra work on your plate. Furthermore, as ‘Chief Family Nurturers', women have had to navigate the pandemic with extra loads in addition to their career as they navigate family raising, work, wife duties and taking care of their parents.
As such, some women have opted out of the workforce - resigned to care for the needs of their families. Others who expressed their desire to continue to work however demanded more flexible schedules, as some want to find meaning and purpose in their work.
While these needs may seem trivial or irrelevant to some, the reality is that we need women in the workforce for their contributions are matchless. The research is out underscoring the reality that when women lead, firms win — and I might add society as at large wins too.
Organisations must thus seek to address women’s needs and concerns for the overall wellbeing of society as a whole. Simply put, a successful and strong woman means a strong man, a strong family, and a strong society!
What Working Women Want
More and more women are realising that the sooner they gain control of their careers, the better off their lives and those who depend on them will be.
As such, many who left corporate jobs either due to mass lay offs or because they felt it was the opportune time to launch a business, are said to have boosted new business startups despite the pandemic.
According to a Yelp’s Economic Survey report, about 146,486 new businesses opened in the U.S in Q1 2021. This is an increase by 4% from Q1 2019. Many of these new ventures are women owned.
A survey by gusto.com revealed the reason for this…
- 58% of women want more control over their work schedule.
- 24% wanted to start a business that they could pass on to their families.
- 37% were looking to improve their financial opportunities.
- 19% lost their jobs.
- 9% didn’t have any other job opportunities.