By Shalini Ramakrishnan, Director of Product Marketing

The aftereffects of COVID-19 has thrown the global economy off balance and largely continues to impact women in terms of gender equality. Labor market surveys reveal that a whopping 54% of the women workforce is vulnerable to overall job losses – with the risk rate for men being starkly 1.8 times lower in the ‘gender-clustered’ labor spectrum. The market dynamics of the current gender-regressive economy project that, in ten years, unemployment for women is likely to set back the global GDP by a significant 1$ trillion. 

Essentially, the absence of systemic growth and a multitude of other attitudinal barriers can be attributed to the economic fallout and gender-based implications caused by the pandemic. Conventional mindsets about the role of women are reported to reflect in decision-making at the family and organizational levels. Stringent quarantine measures making people home-bound, inequality issues on the home front, unpaid care, overwhelming domestic responsibilities, closed schools, and shutting down of day-care facilities – the ‘brunt’ is borne by women. With the pandemic exacerbating the work-life balance for women, it is not exactly surprising that they are falling off the workforce map due to the deficit of progressive work-life policies in place. 

Compelling data from the pandemic state that the consequences are here to stay, and if left unacknowledged, will have a catastrophic effect on the global economy in the long term. Gender equality – in society and work, are intricately interlinked and known to address mindset bias and economic insecurity caused by the inadequacy of education and income. The call of the hour is to mitigate the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on working women and identify measures to boost social and economic outcomes for millions of women worldwide. Business leaders and policymakers need to recalibrate gender equality and strive to bridge the gender gap in the global workforce. 

Data from the UN Women’s Chief statistician report that a majority of the nations are failing to aggregate data broken down by sex, age, and other vital metrics – such as class, race, location, disability, and migrant status. This acute gap in data has compounded the recovery efforts for comprehensive impact analysis across countries and communities. 

Championing gender equality is the ‘new’ normal and significant efforts in these areas must be made to achieve exemplary outcomes in the economic and social lives of women:

  • Expanding the outreach by investing in direct income for women to advance gender parity.

Introduce policies for economic support packages, tax exemptions, and extended unemployment benefits that deliver tangible income for women.

  • Extending support for women-owned businesses

Implementing subsidies in loans and introduce specific grants and stimulus funding in women-dominated sectors. Supply of essential personal protection equipment and other critical supplies for women-owned micro, small, and medium businesses, and relaxed tax burdens to provide economic relief.

  • Support for the women employee

Bolstering access to more affordable childcare services to augment participation of women in the labor force. Introduce digital inclusion in essential industries and platforms that largely offer gender flexibility and social protection from undervalued services.

  • Recalibrating attitudinal biases

Advocating an equal distribution of domestic responsibilities with accommodative work hours for all essential caregivers, paid leave, and child care service access. Urge governments and stakeholders to roll out public campaigns to combat the negative influence of gender disparity and drive inclusive economic growth. 

On International Women’s Day this year, at the “Women in leadership: Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world,” event, the UN will be honoring the untiring contribution made by women and girls around the world toward achieving more equity and driving economic progress. On the backdrop of this significant recognition, Numly Inc. will be celebrating the role of women at work through its women leadership programs available on its Peer Coaching platform – NumlyEngage, that can be leveraged to advocate inclusion and social and economic growth for women.

The spread of the pandemic and social distancing has precipitated the feeling of isolation in women. Notwithstanding, the paradigm shift in work culture where the ‘new’ normal has been embraced as a welcome change has begun to foster a larger female labor-force participation in the workforce. Remote working opportunities have opened up avenues, what with organizations enabling women to reclaim their work-life balance and drive phenomenal business outcomes. 

NumlyEngage is an end-end digital experience that aligns with the post-pandemic world and offers reskilling programs to help combat the backward spiral in the progress of the workforce. Our networking solution model is designed to help create greater cognizance of skill sets and potential. We transform people and resources through peer coaching and self-development programs that are designed to expedite employee skill growth and improve retention. 

With return-to-work programs being introduced in organizations to transcend the aftermath of the pandemic, reskilling the existing workforce is now seen as an imperative to retain their top talent. Our AI-powered coaching platform bridges people and helps track key metrics for measurable employee performance and business growth with exemplary reskilling models. We, at Numly, understand the new dynamic of the reskilling revolution and how our career development innovations can transform the future of work. In the struggle for gender diversity, championing the work-life balancing act and fighting gender-bias to usher in meaningful change is our core focus. 

Numly’s prepackaged programs including the Women Leadership Development and D,E&I programs are focused on helping organizations tackle serious issues that are negatively affecting organizational growth in the post-pandemic world. They drive actionable insight for corporate leaders to reassess their strategy on investments in reskilling and nurture resilience in the workforce. Also, in terms of drastically speeding up the progress on gender diversity – coaching has proved to be a surefire strategy that is significant for women in the context of the fallout of the pandemic, and is a ‘win-win’ situation for the longevity of organizations.