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    Alarm bells are ringing: Don’t ignore them

    Over thirty years ago, as a brand-new mom I felt fortunate to have a job in my chosen field of Learning and Organization Development. I knew that my two-hour commute, one way, was not ideal; however, I had high hopes that by the time my children started their careers, life would be less challenging for parents.

     

    Fast forward to Fall 2020. In the midst of a global pandemic, organizations find themselves with employees who are truly straining to the breaking point just to get through each day managing work and childcare demands. We are facing what is being called the first “Female Recession.” We are on the precipice of falling into an organizational/diversity/leadership abyss we may not be able to recover from for a decade or longer.

     

    The impact is real for individuals and organizations

    • “Before this year, Women in the Workplace research had consistently found that women and men leave their companies at comparable rates. However, due to the challenges created by the COVID-19 crisis, as many as two million women are considering leaving the workforce.”[1]
    • “Research shows that company profits and share performance can be close to 50 percent higher when women are well represented at the top.”[2]
    • “Almost all companies are providing tools and resources to help employees work remotely. Many have also expanded services related to mental health, such as counseling and enrichment programs, and offered training to help managers support employees’ mental health and well-being.”[3]
    • “Mothers in 2020’s pandemic have reduced their work hours four to five times more than fathers to care for children in a nation that hasn’t created a strong caregiving foundation.” [4]

     

    Time is of the essence

    In a year where everything has felt slow and plodding, these challenges are urgent. While the impact to women is clear, the impact to organizations could take even longer from which to recover. How is your organization answering these questions?

    • How are priorities being reviewed, re-established, and communicated?
    • Are you asking employees what would help them feel supported?
    • How diverse is the team in your organization to create plans to meet this challenge?
    • Are individual leaders of teams equipped with the skills to support their teams?
    • Are you investing now in the development of leaders?
    • How will you keep a diverse talent pipeline if employees/candidates don’t see leaders who they resemble?

     

    Organizations who meet this challenge will not only ensure diverse leadership and talent pipelines, they will be leaders in the marketplace.

     

    We’re here too. If you want to discuss ideas of how your organization could respond with one of our former HR executives, connect with us here!

     

     


     

    [1] Sarah Coury, Jess Huang, Ankur Kumar, Sara Prince, Alexis Krivkovich and Lareina Yee. (2020). Women in the Workplace 2020. McKinsey & Company.

    https://www.mckinsey.com/featured-insights/diversity-and-inclusion/women-in-the-workplace

    [2] Chabelli Carranza. 2020 America’s First Female Recession. https://19thnews.org/2020/08/americas-first-female-recession/

    [3] Sarah Coury, Jess Huang, Ankur Kumar, Sara Prince, Alexis Krivkovich and Lareina Yee. (2020). Women in the Workplace 2020. McKinsey & Company.

    https://www.mckinsey.com/featured-insights/diversity-and-inclusion/women-in-the-workplace

    [4] Sarah Coury, Jess Huang, Ankur Kumar, Sara Prince, Alexis Krivkovich and Lareina Yee. (2020). Women in the Workplace 2020. McKinsey & Company.

    https://www.mckinsey.com/featured-insights/diversity-and-inclusion/women-in-the-workplace

     

    Heidi Zdrojeski
    About the Author:

    Heidi joined Coaching Right Now in 2016 as an Account Executive. Heidi brings over 25 years of experience leading learning and shared services teams in large financial and manufacturing organizations. She is also a certified executive and leadership Coach (CPCC, ACC).