The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic can be felt in every crevice of society as the global healthcare crisis continues to redefine the new normal. It has exacerbated gender equality issues across industries and women in tech are suffering as a result.
Here is a look at 3 issues facing women in tech today and how the pandemic has shifted the dynamics of the workplace:
- The pandemic has stressed out women more- While for most people working from home seems like a reprieve from the stressors of the office for others it has its challenges. For women, the work from home movement has done away with long stressful commutes and time spent doing makeup and putting together outfits for the office. However, research has found that remote work has not alleviated women from childcare and household duties. It has found that females are twice as likely to fulfill those duties even when their male partners worked from home. The unequal distribution of work is not a new challenge for heterosexual couples. The pandemic has made the imbalance more pronounced. When schools shut down due to the pandemic, childcare became temporarily unavailable, and women had to become full time caregivers as well as full time employees. While research shows that remote workers tend to be happier and more productive that in-office employees that balance depends on how many distractions are present at home. For a woman being preoccupied with household chores and family responsibility may lessen productivity and make it hard to concentrate.
- The pandemic has changed job options- Inherently, due to gender inequality there are less job opportunities available to women than men. A study of women in tech has found that twice as many women were like to lose their jobs or be furloughed during COVID-19 than men. On a large scale, the pandemic has caused many people to reassess the directions and priorities of their lives. For women, whether returning to work after COVID-19, childbirth, or a resume gap, it is important to know that workplace options are available.
- The pandemic contributed to women in tech experiencing burnout- Studies have been done about the effect of the pandemic on women in tech. One study found that 79% of working mom have reported feeling burnt out by their responsibilities. Another study found that burnout happened 63% of the time for women with male bosses versus 44% of instances with female bosses. Furthermore, tech is rigorous as an industry. A study showed that more than 57% of tech sector workers felt burnout. This high figure can be attributed to excessive workload, toxic culture, and lack of growth opportunities for most entry to mid-level tech workers of both genders.
Currently, many global tech companies are pushing for diversity initiatives when it comes to hiring practices. Such causes have never been more profound than during the COVID-19 pandemic which has irretrievably and permanently changed society. During the pandemic, women in tech are feeling stressed out, limited with job options, and prone to burnout. As a result, what women in tech need most is support and equality in the workforce.