Shifting Burdens for Women in the Workplace

As COVID-19 continues to fuel disparity and disconnection at work, we explore the impact of a new set of challenges women face whilst providing solutions grounded in science that empower women at work.

Introduction

Navigating the intricacies of COVID-19 whilst maintaining a career and a personal life has been an unprecedented shift in the lives of all, and yet has fuelled an inordinate impact on women at work. Recent research from the TUC reveals that in the U.K, almost half (48%) of working mothers are worried about being treated negatively by their employers due to their childcare responsibilities.

Despite Iceland gaining notoriety as a gender equality front runner in The World Economic Forum in 2019, research from 2020 demonstrates the gendered realities of work-life balance during the pandemic. To understand how, and why the gender gap has increased, we’ll be delving into a range of research, including our own to determine concrete solutions that sustainably empower women in the workplace.

Inflexible Culture

Pre-COVID research demonstrates that although flexible working initiatives boost universal impressions of an organization, any employee that begins benefitting from flexible work hours faces career disruption (Honeycutt & Rosen, 1997; Cohen and Single, 2001). Within the research, those working flexible schedules were perceived to be less likely to be promoted, and more likely to leave the firm – ultimately restricting career progression.

Despite the social disadvantages, women with children are often still more likely to work flexibly. Results from a study led by 10x Psychology found that the women in our sample were generally more likely to prioritize a work-home balance than the male sample. This difference in priorities may reflect a greater emotional burden on women to prioritize home-life over a career.

However, as we make our way through the new year, remote work has become a widely-adopted practice; industries are increasingly promoting work from home and flexible work wherever possible – In this context, why are women, particularly those with caregiving responsibilities still so negatively impacted?

Back to the ‘50s

“I feel like we are dangerously close to the gender development as it was before the middle of the last century.”
Anonymous Participant, ‘Families and Work-life balance in times of COVID-19’

The pandemic, despite first appearances, is far from being an equalizer of gender equality.

Remote work clashes with burgeoning home-schooling responsibilities whilst most child-care providers remain closed. In addition to this, organizations vary in their adoption of furlough schemes; for example, in the U.K 70% of the women that apply for furlough do not receive it.

Since the onset of the COVID pandemic, research internationally has demonstrated that gender inequalities have been grossly exaggerated, with increased levels of stress and the double burden unraveling decades of progress, in even the most progressive of countries. Research from the most female-empowered country internationally – Iceland, showed that women in heterosexual relationships were fundamentally undermined by their family dynamic and struggled with an insurmountable mental burden in coalition with their work and domestic responsibilities, leading to their careers and identities becoming compromised.

Shifting the Burden

“Unpaid labor is mainly strapped to female shoulders because – for all the International Women’s Days Sellotaped together – that’s the current working world we live in.”
Anna Whitehouse, founder of Mother Pukka

Moderating the impact of a global crisis is not an easy task; particularly when the impact pervades through to family life and personal interactions.

Research led by TUC in January 2021 indicated that 90% of women have felt their mental health has been impacted over the most recent lock-down. This impact on mental health can often be traced back to the additional burden women face in fulfilling unpaid domestic labor, tending to the emotional needs of the family as well actively working.

Meeting this set of circumstances as an employer means integrating flexible and representative work practices that fully meet the needs of your employees. TUC suggest de-stigmatizing furlough as well as actively encouraging and accepting applications from working women to provide a chance to recharge and reconfigure a sustainable work approach.

In the long term, managers should focus on establishing a golden thread through development and wellbeing to ensure that all employees are able to stay motivated and meet their potential.

Sustainable Solutions

10x Solutions enable people management to trace the Personalities, Motivations and Abilities of every employee, to proactively identify those that might be losing motivation and empower them with representative and effective insights.

Our industry-leading suite of psychometric assessments and cutting-edge machine learning algorithms power each of our Solutions, enabling managers and HR personnel to predict the professional development of employees through 10x Predict, and successfully map and tailor the development of every employee with 10x Optimize.

For women at work this means that instead of bearing the additional responsibility of self-reporting declines in motivation, or worrying about current work under-representing potential, they can rely on our concrete psychometrics to accurately represent and empower them at work.

Furthermore, as our insights are tailored to the development of each employee based on their Motivation and Personality, talented women who might feel overlooked or compromised in their current role can instantly benefit from constructive change based on what they need to flourish.

As an employer, having a comprehensive, dynamic overview of every employee through our dashboard means having a visual key to capitalize on every source of talent, and apply bespoke insights to motivate and empower every person and woman behind your organization.

Shifting Burdens for Women in the Workplace

International day of women and girls in STEM is a monument to the efforts of every person that rose to meet countless challenges to drive forward human progress and potential. As COVID-19 continues to fuel disparity and disconnection at work, we explore the impact of a new set of challenges women face whilst providing solutions grounded in science that empower women at work.

Introduction

Navigating the intricacies of COVID-19 whilst maintaining a career and a personal life has been an unprecedented shift in the lives of all, and yet has fuelled an inordinate impact on women at work. Recent research from the TUC reveals that in the U.K, almost half (48%) of working mothers are worried about being treated negatively by their employers due to their childcare responsibilities.

Despite Iceland gaining notoriety as a gender equality front runner in The World Economic Forum in 2019, research from 2020 demonstrates the gendered realities of work-life balance during the pandemic. To understand how, and why the gender gap has increased, we’ll be delving into a range of research, including our own to determine concrete solutions that sustainably empower women in the workplace.

Inflexible Culture

Pre-COVID research demonstrates that although flexible working initiatives boost universal impressions of an organization, any employee that begins benefitting from flexible work hours faces career disruption (Honeycutt & Rosen, 1997; Cohen and Single, 2001). Within the research, those working flexible schedules were perceived to be less likely to be promoted, and more likely to leave the firm – ultimately restricting career progression.

Despite the social disadvantages, women with children are often still more likely to work flexibly. Results from a study led by 10x Psychology found that the women in our sample were generally more likely to prioritize a work-home balance than the male sample. This difference in priorities may reflect a greater emotional burden on women to prioritize home-life over a career.

However, as we make our way through the new year, remote work has become a widely-adopted practice; industries are increasingly promoting work from home and flexible work wherever possible – In this context, why are women, particularly those with caregiving responsibilities still so negatively impacted?

Back to the ‘50s

“I feel like we are dangerously close to the gender development as it was before the middle of the last century.”
Anonymous Participant, ‘Families and Work-life balance in times of COVID-19’

The pandemic, despite first appearances, is far from being an equalizer of gender equality.

Remote work clashes with burgeoning home-schooling responsibilities whilst most child-care providers remain closed. In addition to this, organizations vary in their adoption of furlough schemes; for example, in the U.K 70% of the women that apply for furlough do not receive it.

Since the onset of the COVID pandemic, research internationally has demonstrated that gender inequalities have been grossly exaggerated, with increased levels of stress and the double burden unraveling decades of progress, in even the most progressive of countries. Research from the most female-empowered country internationally – Iceland, showed that women in heterosexual relationships were fundamentally undermined by their family dynamic and struggled with an insurmountable mental burden in coalition with their work and domestic responsibilities, leading to their careers and identities becoming compromised.

Shifting the Burden

“Unpaid labor is mainly strapped to female shoulders because – for all the International Women’s Days Sellotaped together – that’s the current working world we live in.”
Anna Whitehouse, founder of Mother Pukka

Moderating the impact of a global crisis is not an easy task; particularly when the impact pervades through to family life and personal interactions.

Research led by TUC in January 2021 indicated that 90% of women have felt their mental health has been impacted over the most recent lock-down. This impact on mental health can often be traced back to the additional burden women face in fulfilling unpaid domestic labor, tending to the emotional needs of the family as well actively working.

Meeting this set of circumstances as an employer means integrating flexible and representative work practices that fully meet the needs of your employees. TUC suggest de-stigmatizing furlough as well as actively encouraging and accepting applications from working women to provide a chance to recharge and reconfigure a sustainable work approach.

In the long term, managers should focus on establishing a golden thread through development and wellbeing to ensure that all employees are able to stay motivated and meet their potential.

Sustainable Solutions

10x Solutions enable people management to trace the Personalities, Motivations and Abilities of every employee, to proactively identify those that might be losing motivation and empower them with representative and effective insights.

Our industry-leading suite of psychometric assessments and cutting-edge machine learning algorithms power each of our Solutions, enabling managers and HR personnel to predict the professional development of employees through 10x Predict, and successfully map and tailor the development of every employee with 10x Optimize.

For women at work this means that instead of bearing the additional responsibility of self-reporting declines in motivation, or worrying about current work under-representing potential, they can rely on our concrete psychometrics to accurately represent and empower them at work.

Furthermore, as our insights are tailored to the development of each employee based on their Motivation and Personality, talented women who might feel overlooked or compromised in their current role can instantly benefit from constructive change based on what they need to flourish.

As an employer, having a comprehensive, dynamic overview of every employee through our dashboard means having a visual key to capitalize on every source of talent, and apply bespoke insights to motivate and empower every person and woman behind your organization.

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