Look around at your managers who are women. They may seem to be composed, engaged, and focused, but don’t assume they’re not struggling. After six months of a deadly pandemic, there is pressure on these women unlike anymore most of them have ever experienced:
- Parental leave policies are pushing women out of the office. According to one source, approximately a third of companies offer paid parental leave twice as much to mothers as to fathers. The message here is that it’s the women who are expected to sacrifice their jobs to care for their families. Consider removing stereotypes by offering leave based on whether a worker is a “primary” or “secondary” caregiver, instead of gender.
- The retirement savings gap is growing. On average, women have about the third of the savings men have. To address this gap, talk to your 401(k) provider about retirement-planning sessions geared specifically for women.
- Women are carrying the heaviest burdens in the house. Women perform about three-quarters of total hours of unpaid care work – more than three times as much as men. You can help by nurturing a culture of compassion. For instance, be flexible and patient if women employees have to cancel or change meetings. Look for opportunities to create teams that can help each other on tasks and projects. Enable initiatives such as flex schedules, part-time work, and job sharing.