Protect Gender Equality During the Pandemic

The coronavirus crisis represents a major threat to gender equity. Women comprise 39% of global employment, but account for 54% of overall job losses since May 2020. You can counteract this trend by taking deliberate action. Start by tracking the data and being transparent about the trends in your company. Are job losses or requests for leave higher among women? Have their promotions rates slowed? Then, take action on the needs that are revealed in the data. Put policies into place that grant flexible work arrangements and adjusted performance reviews for all employees, and provide resources that help combat burnout. Because women are disproportionately tasked with child care responsibilities, these policies will be especially important in ensuring that they aren’t disproportionately penalized for juggling those responsibilities in a WFH environment. And, if your company is hiring (or rehiring), actively work to achieve parity in your organization. This is an urgent moment: It’s up to business leaders to stop this crisis from setting back gender equity for generations to come.

This tip is adapted from “Don’t Let the Pandemic Set Back Gender Equality,” by Deepa Mahajan et al.

Categories: Management and Career Tips

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