Women Are The Future Of The Workforce

Sure, we know that the pandemic changed the way we work, but specifically, it changed the way WOMEN work.

Working moms, already known for having an incredibly full plate of work and home duties before the pandemic, were responsible for holding up the world through the worst of the COVID days. They took on the task of being teachers, nurses, researchers about the virus, while dealing with increased chores at home from the entire household locked up for months. Meanwhile, they continued to excel at work, with productivity increasing 11% in Q2 of 2020.

But at some point, it was too much. Many women realized this wasn’t sustainable. As there was no quitting their jobs as parents, many made the tough decision to leave their jobs. Add in attrition from moms who leave their roles after giving birth plus the lack of childcare options impacting all families, and the result was the ‘she-cession’, with women stepping out of the workforce at a rate of 3-to-1 compared to men.

Companies started to take notice, helped along by reports from McKinsey and Deloitte, and started making adjustments to bring women back to work. They increased their commitment to flexible work, revamped benefits, and spoke to creating a culture that was more accepting of working parents.

Now, we may have lost some of those gains more recently (particularly in more male dominated fields), but working moms are still in a better place than we were in 2019. The needs of families are headline news, and while women have mostly regained the jobs we lost and the labor force has strengthened, the issues faced during the pandemic are still fresh. The pressure that women together, even as an unorganized force, put on the workplace by saying “no more” can’t be forgotten.

Our power as women hasn’t gone away. The conversations haven’t been unheard. There is still a place for women to create a work schedule that works for them and their families, and to speak up and advocate for themselves.

For the women I coach who have been out of the workforce for 5 or more years, I tell them it’s a new day. For the women I coach who recently had a baby, I ask them what they want their work day to look like. For the women I coach who feel stuck in their current role or career, we discuss possible conversations with their boss to see what can change. For the women who are looking for a new career, we integrate balance and schedules into career conversations and talk about how to ask for this in interviews.

Because the pandemic changed how we work. And working moms are not going back to compartmentalized lives with a false wall between work and our families. We are owning our leadership roles at home and in the office, stepping into the sometimes messy convergence of conflicting responsibilities, and not letting it hold us back in our careers. We are better for it, our kids are better for it, as it the workplace.

If you are ready to own this paradigm, let’s talk. Together we can clarify what works for you and build your confidence to create it. Sign up now for a 30-minute free coaching call to learn more.