Equality post-Covid; a step forward or a step back?
Updated: Aug 10, 2020
We hosted our first online 'conversation hub' and looked at whether the aspiration of gender equality in the workplace has become a pipe dream.
One Loud Voice was set up to amplify the voices of those who are paving the way for progress when it comes to equality in the workplace.
The COVID-19 pandemic has turned people's lives upside down in some way or another. For millions, what's at the top of the list - besides of course health - is their work/life balance.
Alarming data and case studies show that women are picking up the majority of childcare and domestic work, directly affecting their careers. Overall, women are still seen as the primary care takers, despite men spending more time at home.
Take a look at this statistic for example:
As a result, we felt it was crucial to bring together women from different industries, to hear about their journeys and thoughts, along with our sponsors and committee members, in order to address the problems we are facing as a direct result of the pandemic.
We were joined by three fantastic speakers:
Tea Colaianni, Founder & Chair, Women in Hospitality, Travel & Leisure
Carol Rosati OBE, D&I expert, Met Office, UN Women UK
Geraldine Gallacher, MD Executive Coaching Consultancy, specialising in women’s development
The conversation was excellently steered by Moderator Sylvana Caloni of Executive Coaching.
For those of you who missed it, we've made a highlights video which you can watch here:
Our speakers raised some brilliant points, here are some of the takeaways:
The hospitality and leisure sector has been hit the most and is the last one in the queue to come back to normality; 32% of employees have been made redundant with women largely dominating the numbers
It is especially hard for single mothers, as highlighted by Carol Rosati OBE:
More redundancies are expected as machines are replacing more jobs as a result of pandemic
There are some discrepancies among working women; a woman working from home can give much more vs working in the office, but a woman who is a mother working from home can give much less
A woman’s job is 1.8 more times likely to disappear as a result of the pandemic
But as Tea Colaianni pointed out, we must keep a positive mindset:
And other benefits that have become apparent as a result of lockdown include the fact that:
People have proved that they can work from home
Childcare constraints have become accepted
Seeing people as a whole has changed (from being apologetic over the background noise at first to accepting it is a new normal)
So-called "soft skills" have finally been recognised among leadership (listening to your people, being kind, being more acceptable, treating people like adults)
Productivity has improved
People have started using their time more rationally
Geraldine felt strongly that while remote working has become an "appreciated" method of work, the fight for equality for women has a long and challenging road ahead. Gendered behaviours follow us within our households and still enable men to avoid caring responsibilities, and therefore add to a number of pressures that women may face.
She also made a great point which One Loud Voice most definitely agrees with: "We are louder together".
We'd like to thank our speakers and moderator for sharing their insights and expertise during this event.
Our online "Conversation Hub" was first of many, and we hope you can join our next event which will take place in October and focus on intersectionality.
We hope to see you there, and until then, stay safe!
- The One Loud Voice team
If you're interested in these topics and would like to receive invitations to our conversation hubs, then please join our mailing list via firstname.lastname@example.org.