Millions of women are considering downshifting their careers or leaving the workforce due to Covid-19, according to a new report.
Female workers have been affected by the stress of juggling careers and looking after children, often compounded by a lack of help from their partner, it claims.
Women’s rights organisation Lean In, which was founded by Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg in 2013, surveyed 40,000 employees at 317 US firms for its report.
It found a quarter of women are considering giving up work due to stress and another quarter are worried about their performance at work being judged because of their need to look after their child.
Men are less likely to consider switching to a less demanding job, taking a leave of absence or leaving work altogether to look after their children, compared with women, it also found.
The report suggests employers should do more to address ’employee burnout’ to prevent women leaving their jobs and erasing ‘progress made toward gender diversity’ in the workplace in recent years.
‘Some companies may think that worrying about employee burnout is a luxury they can’t afford right now,’ said Sandberg and Lean In CEO Rachel Thomas in a piece for the Wall Street Journal, detailing their findings.
‘In fact, it’s mission-critical – if companies rise to the moment, they can head off the disaster of losing millions of women and setting gender diversity back years.’
For the past six years, the Women in the Workplace study has revealed progress for women at all levels of management.
But the disastrous pandemic has meant ‘all those gains could be wiped out in a single year’, Lean In says.
Working at home due to the coronavirus lockdown has meant the ‘boundaries between work and home have blurred’.
Women are having to balance work, childcare and homeschooling responsibilities while worrying about layoffs, furloughs and financial insecurity.
Working mothers are doing a ‘double shift’ consisting of a full day of work, followed by hours spent caring for children and doing household chores.
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Source: Daily Mail