A well-deserved spotlight was shone on women during the month of March for Women’s History Month, as we collectively celebrated the great strides that have been made. However, as most people know, the world needs more than a month to cover everything. Women in the workplace in Texas continue to be successful, but they and employers across the state recognize the need to do more to encourage career growth for women.
Research has shown that the COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately affected many working women. In addition to maintaining career momentum, many women, including those with children or other caregiving needs, had as much or more work to do from home with remote learning, the health issues and challenges of the pandemic for their families. Now that the dust is beginning to clear from this two-year struggle, many women are dealing with the impact on their lives and careers. Deloitte Global recently released the results of its Women at Work: A Global Perspective survey, which found that 51% of women are less optimistic about their career prospects than before the pandemic.
Bottom Line: This is a critical time for employers to understand the changes many women want and need to see in the workplace.
Working women in Texas have their own set of challenges. More … than six million jobs are held by women in Texas— it’s half the jobs of the State. However, according to the Women’s Foundation of Texas, for every hour worked in Texas, women earn $2.83 less than their male counterparts. The gap is even wider for black and Hispanic women. And although 63% of mothers in Texas work, full-time child care can be very expensive, often over $8,000 a year. The US Department of Health and Human Services reports that child care is considered affordable if it costs no more than 7% of a family’s income. According to this standard, only 16% of Texas families can afford year-round child care.
“Work-life integration is based on the idea that when we put ourselves fully into work, whether in person or remotely, we don’t have to choose between success in our work and success in other places. other parts of our life. »
Jen Fisher, Chief Wellness Officer, Deloitte
Deloitte Global’s study highlights the impact when organizations lag – and the impact on the women who work for them – with significant discrepancies between how these women rate their experiences compared to those who work for gender equality leaders. From levels of productivity and mental well-being to job satisfaction, the difference is often stark.
As we begin to rebuild the way “going to work” looks post-pandemic, it is up to employers to implement changes to the way we work with gender equality in mind. If you’re a CEO who wants to create opportunities for women in your company to achieve equality and leadership roles, start here:
Demonstrate visible leadership commitment.
This includes setting targets to increase gender representation at the senior level. Deloitte Global Women on the board report reveals that in 2021, women occupy only 19.7% of seats on boards of directors worldwide. Although this is a 2.8% increase from 2019, the pace of progress has not changed much over the past decade; at the current rate, we won’t achieve gender parity until 2045. Similarly, in Texas, there remains a significant gap that companies should work to close in order to achieve gender parity on boards. Disappointing, Texas comes below the national average for board seats held by women (the national average is 26.7%, while Texas is at 23.9%).
Enable work/life integration.
Lack of work-life balance is the main reason women give for considering leaving their employer, according to to the Women @ Work report. In fact, they cite “providing flexible work options that don’t hinder my career progression” as one of the top three ways organizations can support female retention. Organizations that want to be at the forefront of gender equity should consider establishing clear boundaries around working hours, standardizing flexible work hours, and providing fulfilling development opportunities that include women, among other actions.
Invest in creating a talent pool of diverse women.
Catalyst noted that at the start of 2021, women of various races and ethnicities made up 17% of entry-level positions, but only 4% of this group advanced to C-suite positions. This decline highlights the ongoing challenges to advancement that many diverse women face as they move into leadership positions within their organizations. This means that initiatives to promote diversity must start early. By focusing on developing women into the next generation of leaders, the path to advancement can become clearer.
We have seen that employers have the opportunity to rebuild future-ready workplaces. Leaders from all sectors can play a role in building a diverse and inclusive future take action to close the gap and achieve gender parity in the workplace. As we begin to rebuild the workplace after the pandemic, employers have a responsibility to rebuild the way we work with gender equality in mind: a workplace that works for all and is ready for the future. ‘to come up.
To download the full 2021 Women @ Work report or to find out more, go to www.deloitte.com/womenatwork.