By Anne Quiello, PCC
Senior Consultant & Host TLG Women in Leadership
Turknett’s Women In Leadership pointed out on its web page earlier this year that the data around women in the workplace is converging to paint a picture of lost momentum due to the pandemic. More than 3 million U.S. women made the decision to leave the workforce this past year. Most have left for family reasons – online learning schooling, closed day care facilities, elder parent care, and other similar challenges. This is especially concerning because we no longer have as much critical female talent in the pipeline for advancement. And the Great Resignation, particularly for women, continues.
According to Deloitte Global’s 2021 report, Women @ Work: A Global Outlook, which surveyed 5,000 women across 10 countries, nearly 80% of women say their workloads have increased because of the pandemic, while 66% of women report having more responsibilities at home, increasing the momentum of workplace departure.
A Race Against Time
Related to these findings, according to LeanIn.org and McKinsey & Co’s 2021 Report on Women In the Workplace, “Women are now significantly more burned out—and increasingly more so than men. Compared to men at the same levels, women leaders are stronger people managers and more active champions of diversity, equity, and inclusion. Yet this critical work is going unrecognized and unrewarded by most companies, and that has serious implications. Companies risk losing the very leaders they need right now, and it’s hard to imagine organizations navigating the pandemic and building inclusive workplaces if this work isn’t truly prioritized.”
Back to the recent research done by Deloitte, they report that “the top reason women are considering leaving their current employers is a lack of work-life balance. Only one in five women surveyed believe that their employers have helped them to create clear boundaries between work time and personal time during the pandemic. This is also reflected in the top reason that women are considering dropping out of the workplace entirely: increased workload. Even when women take action to alleviate their situation, many view the impact as negative, with nearly half of the surveyed women (and two-thirds of surveyed sole parents) who have had to adjust their working hours because of increased caregiving responsibilities saying they believe this has negatively affected their relationship with their employer.”
What Can We Do?
Based on these two groups of research findings, employers should consider if they are doing enough to communicate with and engage women employees about their concerns of work overload, work-life balance, and recognition of their focus and energy toward other employees’ well-being. Women in the workplace may not have the perfect silver-bullet solution, but they can most certainly tell us what isn’t working and help prioritize potential solutions.