Flexible working models needed to keep women in the workforce
With the pandemic pushing women further into poverty and ill-health, employers should take lessons from the pandemic and implement a new normal for women through flexible working models, highlighted The World We Want (WWW), a global social impact enterprise launched to accelerate the achievement of the United Nation’s (UN) Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.
“Lockdowns showed us the benefit of flexible working models and hybrid systems, allowing access to new resources for employees which could coincide with childcare responsibilities and enable the two to better coexist,” said Natasha Mudhar, founder of WWW. “We can take lessons from the pandemic and use them to catalyse a ‘new normal’ for women in employment.”
Employers should take it upon themselves to apply flexible strategies and access to technology to build on the lessons learned during COVID-19 and create a more accommodating environment for women, she added.
Some 740 million women work in the informal economy and their income fell by 60% per cent in the first month of the pandemic, according to data by UN Women.
Women globally spend about three times as many hours (4.2 hours) on unpaid domestic and care work as compared to men (1.7 hours) daily, and this “unpaid, unacknowledged and unequal” distribution of domestic responsibilities prevents women from participating in the labour market, it highlighted.