Over the last year, the COVID-19 pandemic significantly disrupted lives around the world. Now, researchers report this disruption may negatively impact women’s workforce equality.
Since the pandemic began, nearly 3 million women have exited the workforce, 400,000 more than men. This mass exodus has been a setback for many organizations, resembling the workforce of nearly a decade ago. More disturbingly, this trend may not level out
for several more years; projections by McKinsey and Oxford Economics show women recovering to pre-pandemic levels by 2024, while men will recover by 2022. This may have a severe economic and diversity impact as most industries, including manufacturing, need all the talent available to sustain recovery.
While headway has been made in gender equality, a gap still exists in both pay and promotion. Pre-pandemic, women only earned 82 cents for every dollar a male earned and moms earned 70 cents for every dollar a dad earned. For every 100 men promoted to manager, only 85 women were promoted. Now, as women attempt to re-enter the workforce, concerns swirl around even lower pay and a longer corporate ladder climb.
To combat this, business and industry must consciously consider other perspectives.
Research shows women provide additive value — both in viewpoint and return on investment (ROI). Studies demonstrate company profits are 50-percent higher when women are well represented in leadership. Further, senior-level women are more likely than their male counterparts to advocate for diversity and equality. Losing women, especially in leadership, could mean diversity setbacks and additional women exiting.
If you want to know more, attend the MBA’s Women in Leadership course on Tuesday, May 25. This full-day course provides both men and women a leadership perspective with a focus on women’s unique contributions and obstacles in the workforce.
Participants learn what it means to lead in your own style, how to handle conflict, and how to communicate with various communication styles (including gender differences). To register, visit www.mbausa.org.