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Event Information

How Covid 19 has affected working women, decreasing many of the gains made over the last 20 years

January 27, 2021
12:00 PM EST to 1:15 PM EST
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The economy cannot recover without working women.  An October 2020 Forbes article states, “women are disappearing from the workforce at a faster rate than men these days” including working mothers as working parents are worried and worn out.  “Women also believe their employers value them less than men and this difference has grown over the past few years.  According to McKinsey’s annual study of women in the workforce, one in every four women is considering dropping out altogether or cutting back.”  What are employers going to do about it?

Session Description: 

Covid 19 has been difficult for all employees, but women have carried the load.  Black women are less likely to feel supported.  Working parents have been handling triple shifts for 9 months now: actual work, household duties and now childcare/teaching, all under great stress due to pandemic, economic and social justice pressures. Working parents make up a third of the U.S. workforce of families and 70% of those with young children under 14 do not have an available caregiver in the family, which means parents have been making tough decisions. 

While this issue cannot be ignored from what’s best for our kids, it also must be addressed as a very real business risk. The trickle-down effect of these pressures on working parents is not just on employees’ wellbeing, health and stability personally, but also their sustained engagement, productivity, and performance while working. If $13B is lost in a typical year in potential earnings, productivity and revenue due to inadequate child-care resources, we can only imagine how much that number will grow in 2020. With parents left to determine the best solution on their own, it likely will result in some sort of downshift or cut back in hours, full-time status or even employment. Economic recovery broadly and at the individual business level is unlikely if the talent pool is distracted, disengaged or disappearing.

These pressures apply to all working parents, but the data shows that women are taking the brunt of the burden. Women’s work hours fell more than 5x men in the spring and one study shows that 70% of those who left the workforce since March due to child issues were women. For employers, this puts additional stress on employer workforce diversity efforts. For women, it can impact short-term job security, earnings, and merit-based promotion and raises.  It can also result in higher likelihood of layoffs, flattened career trajectory, and a hit to lifetime earnings.

The good news is that there are solutions.  We will discuss solutions offered in the McKinsey report, including the rise of remote work and managers that address the needs of women as well as other alternatives that create a culture which values all women in the workforce.

We’ll look at the latest in research in the area, share some ideas of how employers are rising to the challenge, what this means to working women and other impacted groups, and then open it up for a discussion on how we all weather this unprecedented time.

Speaker Bio:

Laine Thomas Conway, Vice President and Total Rewards Product Leader for Consumer Experience, Alight Solutions

As Alight Solution’s Total Rewards Product Leader, Laine is a prominent expert on how companies can effectively attract, retain and engage their workforce. She provides strategic guidance and thought leadership in all things talent and rewards for both Alight’s colleagues and our clients. She manages the total rewards product line and is the co-author of Alight’s annual Workforce Mindset® Study. With more than 20 years in HR consulting, Laine’s also an experienced practioner, helping many clients over the years navigate the challenges of motivating people and making the most of an organization’s investment in their HR programs and people. While the impact of working parents and caregiving as a critical people and business issue is a professional passion, it also is a personal one as Laine is a solo working parent of a rising 6th grader in the Washington, DC area.

 

 

Tickets

$45.00 Member
$35.00 Earlybird rate before January 20

$85.00 Non-Member