Women in the workforce crisis
Photo by Standsome Worklifestyle

Women in the workforce crisis

43% of women leave the workforce to raise their families.

If they are out for just three years they lose a total of 37% of their compensation power for the rest of their lives. 

Due to the lack of gender diversity in leadership, this is a $150B annual loss in profit to Fortune 500 companies alone. 

COVID-19 made it worse. 30% of mothers are considering leaving the workforce due to lack of childcare. In Sept 2020 alone, 865K did so.  So what needs to change?

First, it goes beyond just women, but we know that 80% of women are responsible for 50%+ of child care (sneak peek of Prowess’ latest survey) – hence women are leaving the workforce 4x the rate of men.  But let’s hear from our peers. According to a Parents @Pulse from July 2020 report, which was taken by 100+ parent respondents at a prominent tech company in the Bay Area, here are some takeaways on how to help our working caretakers. 

Normalize flexible workforce 

COVID has proven that many of us can work from anywhere there is wifi. Now there is no excuse to maintain a strict “butts in seats” culture, nor a mandatory 40 hour a week minimum.

"Because I feel that I'm not productive enough during high-interrupt work hours, I work extra _long_ hours. It's not good.”

Working parent
    • Solutions:
      • Video and output notes from meetings for async participation
      • Temporary part-time with no change in paid of title

Remember, they are your employees, but they are humans, parents, children, partners & friends first

As an employer, your greatest assets are your employees, full stop.  So why don’t we have policies, benefits and practices that reflect that?

“Everyone's arrangements and situations are different and could change at any moment and it feels at the same time like work is ramping up like crazy and my boundaries don't matter to leadership anymore.”

Working parent

    • Solutions:
      • 12-wk parental leave for all genders 
      • No-meeting blocks – morning and afternoon no-meeting zones so parents aren’t pressured to take meeting or parenting 
      • Giving in 3rd party talent where needed for mission-critical projects

Access to affordable caregiving

Whether it’s children or parents, caregiving is either time-consuming or expensive.  And even worse, it’s causing parents to gamble with the health of their loved ones by putting their children back into school or daycare before they are comfortable.

“I worry I am making decisions to prioritize securing preschool/daycare because I have to in order to do my job...even though if that choice may be jeopardizing the health of high-risk members of our family”

Working parent
    • Solutions:
      • 50 paid business days of leave you can use to care for children, Tech Co
      • Reimbursement for using family as backup care, Financial Services Co

At the end of the day, none of these solutions will be successful, unless messages, sentiment and changes from the top of organizations are witnessed on a consistent basis.  Everyone reading this has parents, many are parents, we see you and know that you need our help now, before it’s too late. 

Prowess is dedicated to help solve this problem by creating a landing pad for the women who have left.  If you’re interested in employing this highly-qualified talent, schedule a free consultation here. 

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