- To explore the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) collected data on women's experiences in the workplace. Many women have concerns about job security amid increased caregiving responsibilities during the pandemic, according to a March report, released in recognition of International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month.
- Almost a third (31%) of employed women in the U.S. surveyed by SHRM said they personally know a woman who has left a job during the pandemic due to caregiving responsibilities. About 27% of the employed women who are caregivers feel the pandemic has stifled their professional development, compared to 10% of male respondents, according to SHRM. The report also found that almost half (45%) of those surveyed said women who are supervisors are better at expressing empathy; a third said they’re better at inclusive practices and mentorship; and 1 in 4 said they have better leadership skills.
- Among all the employed Americans surveyed, 44% agreed that being successful in the workplace is more challenging for women with caregiving responsibilities due to the pandemic. Job security was the most important workplace element for both male and female workers surveyed, 27% and 20%, respectively. The greatest difference in viewpoints was in having a sense of fulfillment at work. In order to remain at a job, 16% of women and 6% of men reported that it’s important for their work to have meaning, the report found. The survey of 536 employed Americans was administered Feb. 11-15, 2021. "Employed Americans" is defined as those currently working or who have been furloughed or laid off due to the pandemic, according to the report.
Lack of childcare options amid the pandemic has called for many working mothers to ask for flexibility in their schedules.
An Indeed report released March 2 found that 80.1% of women surveyed said they were comfortable asking for flexibility on work location, compared to 72.6% before the pandemic. This change is most-likely due to caregiving needs, according to Indeed. But women are less likely to ask for a raise. Amid the pandemic 58% of women surveyed said they were comfortable or somewhat comfortable asking for a raise, a decrease from 66% prior to the pandemic, the report found.
"If employers become less accommodative once the pandemic is under control, it will signal that they are not meeting the needs of women, which could prompt some women to leave the labor force," Indeed said in the report.
Perceptyx, an employee listening and people analytics platform released a report March 8 recommending "critical" ways employers can assist women in the workplace affected by the pandemic. Strategies include offering more opportunities for remote roles; working toward the retention of talented women; and offering training for managers on creating an effective strategy for fully remote and hybrid positions.
Some companies are creating partnerships to address the pandemic’s effect on working mothers. Accenture is working with The Mom Project to hire 150 mothers for strategy, consulting and technology jobs at its Midwest division, according to CNN Business.