Following months of disruption, the COVID-19 crisis is causing greater job losses for female workers than men. Traditionally assuming the role of caregiver, many women have been forced to downshift their careers due to childcare demands. Others have left their jobs entirely to become stay-at-home parents, driven by the fact that working fathers typically earn more than working mothers.
“Some have suggested that in the COVID-19 economy, parents must choose between their children and their career,” writes Rebecca Henderson, CEO of Randstad Global Businesses. “As a lifelong advocate for helping women advance in the workforce, I feel we must find a third path.”
“Much of the burden will fall on employers, who must be convinced that a so-called ‘she-cession,’ or mass exodus of women from the workforce, is detrimental to their business, their employer brand and the economy as a whole.”
Henderson suggests that employers should provide more flexibility and alternative work arrangements to working parents to help them balance the demands of work and childcare. They should also review the gender pay gap and consider offering financial assistance to supplement childcare expenses, helping working parents stay in the workforce.
“The economic recovery from COVID-19 will be a critical journey for businesses, and it is imperative that women not be left behind,” concludes Henderson.
Read her article in Forbes for more insights on how organizations can support working women and their careers during the pandemic. You can also read the white paper, “Foster diversity & inclusion in times of crisis,” to learn more about advancing diversity and inclusion in a remote working environment.
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