Plight of the post-pandemic working woman

Almost half of female employees are wary of “burn-out”, citing it as a professional concern over the next one to three years.

This comes as women face a number of unrelenting pressures and concerns – from Covid to caring  — which will have intensified this year.  Additional household responsibilities are also a point of contention, with a quarter  of those surveyed in a poll by O2 stating that women are taking on more than men in their households.

Whilst experiences will vary, stress and coping with additional family responsibilities have contributed to employees needing to take reduced hours, with 18 per cent of women and 14% of men cutting down at various points since the outbreak of the pandemic.

The long-term impact of this looks set to differ due to gender, with only 16 per cent of women feeling ‘very likely’ to return to full hours within the next two years, compared to over half of men.

Workplaces do appear to be stepping up to provide vital support, according to YouGov data, with over two-thirds of women feeling well supported when it comes to flexible working, and just under half feeling well provided for when it comes to mental health and wellbeing.

O2, which itself has long-standing flexible working policies, commissioned the poll ahead of International Women’s day today.

Catherine Leaver, O2’s HR Director, said: “The pandemic has clearly created additional pressures and challenges, disproportionately affecting women as well as ethnic minorities and those under 30. It’s vital as HR leaders that we look at what can be done to accelerate women’s success and wellbeing in the workplace moving forwards.”