The pressure on women working full-time has increased significantly since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, as they face more household responsibilities (65%) and a higher overall workload (33%), according to the Deloitte study. “Understanding the impact of the pandemic on working women,” Conducted Worldwide. The number of women who say they are responsible for most of the care responsibilities of children or other family members almost tripled during the pandemic, from 17% to 48%. Working mothers reported additional responsibilities regarding childcare (58%) and homeschooling (53%).
About 82% of the study participants say their daily routine has been disrupted by the pandemic, and 70% of them are concerned about the impact these changes could have on their ability to progress in their careers. Most participants also feel that they should always be available at work (53% of women without caring tasks and 44% of those with such tasks).
Despite the challenges posed by the pandemic, women remain optimistic about their potential to make progress next year, either by taking on more responsibilities as a result of promotions (52%) or getting a pay rise (47%). On the other hand, 60% of the respondents doubt the opportunity to grow in their organization, given the effort it takes. In this context, 41% cited the risk of a work-life balance deterioration, and 30% cited non-inclusive behaviors, such as micro-aggression and exclusion from meetings or projects. In this context, the study underscores the need for employers to ensure that diversity, respect and inclusion are non-negotiable values in the culture of everyday work.
“Given the findings of the study, as well as uncertainties about the future evolution of the pandemic, organizations need to take steps to provide concrete support for women facing additional responsibilities due to the pandemic. The research also aimed to identify such measures to help women progress in their careers without negatively impacting their personal lives. These include offering flexible work options, more mentoring opportunities, and creating learning experiences that fit into the daily new routine of employees. We can also recognize this approach in the Romanian business environment, as employers are looking for solutions to address the problems women have faced recently, ”said Raluca Bontas, Global Employer Services Partner, Deloitte Romania
In the midst of the pandemic, many women remain loyal to their current employers, with a third (32%) planning to stay with them for two to five years and 30% for more than five years. When asked what actions their employer could take to convince them to stay, 55% cited a promotion or a pay rise, 48%, more flexible work options, 47%, giving the team adequate resources, 45%, better secondary employment conditions, 40%, extra learning opportunities and being involved in interesting projects. There are also notable differences between women with care responsibilities and women without. The latter prefer career-related opportunities, learning and professional development (49%, versus 33% of those with care responsibilities), while working mothers are more interested in better benefits such as medical or parental leave (49% versus 33%).
Deloitte study “Understanding the pandemic’s impact on working women” is based on a survey of nearly 400 working women in nine countries and shows the impact of the pandemic on their work / life balance and the risks to the progress made in recent years in achieving gender equality across the workforce. All respondents are employed full-time in companies in a variety of fields, with at least 1,000 employees, and hold a variety of positions from executive assistant to vice president. Most of them are married and have at least one child.