A new report by McKinsey and Lean in, an advocacy nonprofit for women, suggests that the new crown epidemic could wipe out women’s progress in the workplace for at least six years,media reported. “We’re sounding the alarm, we’re worried, we’re at a crossroads,” Larena Yee, McKinsey’s senior partner and chief diversity and inclusion officer, said at a virtual news conference Wednesday. “
The report shows that a quarter of women are considering slowing down their careers or leaving the workplace, although the proportion of men and women leaving the workplace has been about the same in the past few years.
“If we don’t stand up and make sure they’re supported, the future of women will be brutal,” Yee said. Men are less likely to consider actions such as reducing working hours, working part-time, taking time off or taking full leave, the report said.
As the new crown epidemic has changed people’s lives in unprecedented ways, forcing people around the world to work from home, go to school and do almost everything else, it has exacerbated persistent social inequalities.
Given the lack of women in senior leadership positions among all companies, the loss of staff as a result of the pandemic could make the situation worse. Of the women in senior leadership positions, 89 per cent were exhausted, while only 29 per cent were men. Forty-seven per cent of women said they felt the need to work all the time, compared with 40 per cent of men, underscoring what the report calls a “double shift”, in which they work full-time while spending hours looking after their children or doing housework.
At the same time, the report’s publishers cite a study that showed that the more diverse the leadership, the more innovative and productive the overall performance.
While much of the data in the report is not necessarily available, Yee points out that there is still time for action.
The report makes recommendations such as re-establishing norms on job flexibility, adjusting other policies to better support women, and strengthening communication with employees. But surveys show that companies can take steps to address all of these problems.