The remote working situation has been harder on women than on men, given the fact that women professionals have had to struggle to manage work, children and domestic chores. This is clear from the fact that in pre-pandemic times, 16 per cent of professional women said that they shouldered at least 75 per cent of the childcare and caregiving responsibilities at home. Now, this figure has risen to 48 per cent. A Deloitte survey reveals that seven out of 10 women who have experienced major shifts in their daily routine due to the pandemic, are sure their career growth will slow down drastically. About 52 per cent feel that if they take on more responsibility, their career will progress in a year’s time. About 47 per cent are hopeful of receiving a pay hike too. That is probably why, a significant 32 per cent intend to remain loyal to their present employers and stay on for two to five years. Thirty per cent are likely to stay on in the present job for over five years!
The degree of loyalty and views on career progression vary for women with caregiving responsibilities and those without. Here is why:
Additional workload at home
This is quite understandable because 65 per cent of women have been burdened with additional household chores due to the pandemic. One third of the 400 women surveyed across nine countries admitted to increase in workloads, with 58 per cent struggling with added childcare responsibilities. A good 53 per cent of the mothers, are grappling with education and home schooling work too. Add to this the need to always be available, officially, which has been felt by 46 per cent of the working women. Of these, 45 per cent are rather overwhelmed by this urge to be always available for work and 48 per cent admitted that it is affecting their physical health.
Threat to career progression
A whopping 70 per cent of the women surveyed feel that the changes in routine brought about by the pandemic will slow down their career progression or prevent them from moving ahead at work. Twenty-nine per cent fear that if they are unable to make themselves available for work at all times, their career growth will be stunted. About 23 per cent feel that they will probably end up having to choose between a professional career and their personal responsibilities. Ten per cent are even considering quitting the workforce for good, or taking a break.