Times are Changing
Yes…that is right. COVID is taking another victim – women in the workplace. “I feel like I’m failing at everything”, said a VP and mother of 2 in the McKinsey & Company 2020 report. Women are feeling overwhelmed. I’m sure men are too, but women are especially tired right now. COVID-19 impacted almost everything in life from the amount of money that’s coming in this year all the way to adding a new accessory to our wardrobes, masks! One of the most important and possibly most overlooked segment that COVID has impacted is the woman’s workload.
According to the UN’s Policy Brief on the Impact of COVID on Women, before COVID, women spent three times as many hours as men in unpaid care and domestic work. With COVID-19 requiring kids to stay home from school, the elderly and vulnerable needing more care, and limited access to childcare, women are feeling more responsibility than ever. Social norms and the existing structure of the workforce have created an imbalance in domestic work between men and women, but the imbalance is much more evident now, as an effect of COVID.
Women hold 78 percent of all hospital jobs, 70 percent of pharmacy jobs and 51 percent of grocery store positions. These are jobs that were required to continue working in person and jobs that saw high demand during COVID. This, coupled with a lack of childcare, children having to stay home from school and needing more assistance with classes, more people inside the home all day, and the care and upkeep of a family are what many women nationwide, and globally are dealing with. Even outside of healthcare and essential workers, life during COVID is harder than ever for women.
This is not failing!
No woman should ever feel like they are failing. But women during COVID feel like they are failing on all frontiers. As of January of 2020, women held the majority of jobs in the U.S. workforce, excluding farm workers and the self-employed. But now, 1 in 5 women may be forced to scale back or even opt out of their responsibilities in the workforce. This is a huge problem.
What can be done?
So, how can we support working women during this time?
67% of women say they need more support building confidence to feel like they can be leaders. Right now, women need more confidence just to keep doing what they are doing!
A lack of confidence from a brain science perspective means that we need to consume more energy to do the same. This is not a winning formula! Confidence means we have more internal certainty to get to where we need to go. Our brain loves this and will self-generate energy when this is true.
It is not as easy to say, “Just be more confident”. Often, we have inner voices (which by the way we really list to!) that tell us the opposite. These voices stand in the way of confidence and our brain starts to believe it is true. However, we can combat the hinder voices and replace with more helpful voices.
As an initial simple step, if you are thinking to yourself anything like “I just can’t do this anymore” or “this isn’t worth it”, try replacing this thought with action-oriented questions that move you forward. Example:
Initial Thought: “I just can’t do this anymore”
Replaced Thought: “What am I able to do today that will move me in the direction needed?”
Initial Thought: “This isn’t worth it”
Replace Thought: “What can I do today that is simple and will matter?”
These are not silver bullets – just a place to begin.
We are here to help!
Know that The Disruptive Element is here to help and our In HER Element is a program for women who feel like they need to find their confidence again. This program groups you with up to 12 like-minded women and 2 trained professional coaches who guide you through both group and one-on-one sessions. The best part is the community that is built between not only your specific cohort, but the entire In HER Element community of alumni that have gone through the program. This is helpful for any woman in business who feels a lack of confidence in this season of life and for women who long for a community of like-minded women who are going through the same things as them.