As a homeschooling, business closures and work from home becomes the new norm in the U.S., working mothers are among the hardest hit by the novel coronavirus pandemic. The imperative for greater social distancing and sheltering at home has also cut off vital support for working parents – and particularly women, who make up nearly two-thirds of the workforce.
The Aneuvia survey “Impact of COVID-19 on Corporate Mothers” not only sheds light on the plight of working mothers but offers actionable insights to help C-suite sustain workforce diversity at this turbulent time.
Based on a survey of 150+ corporate mothers with one or more children under 18 years old, we found COVID-19 has resulted in:
- Increase in primary caretaker responsibilities for corporate mothers. Uptick from 5% (pre-COVID) to 62%.
- Unavailability of third-party childcare. Dropped 94% to 29%.
- Juggling elderly care duties. 15% also provide support to their parents.
- Less partner support for childcare. Only 9% report their partner sharing childcare responsibilities.
- Growing concerns for child’s needs (49%), work-home demands (48%) and loss of income (19%).
“The world is watching how employers treat their employees during this turbulent time,” says Janelle Metzger, Co-Founder and CEO of Aneuvia, an activist investment company focused on C-suite and Board-level gender equity.
“Executives have an opportunity to create a support system and provide relentless assistance to help keep and develop women in the workforce, who are now effectively working four jobs.” Women typically bear the burden of the home. The crisis has increased the responsibilities of housework, homeschooling, childcare, and eldercare, making it more difficult for them to succeed in their jobs.
When asked what employers can do to support corporate mothers, respondents confirmed:
- Greater flexibility with working hours – such as four-day work weeks (44%)
- Adjusted expectations – such as project timelines (26%)
- Job security – such as pay and benefits (8%)
- Reduced meetings (3%)
COVID-19 poses extenuating circumstances for businesses, communities, and individuals, alike. Providing care, flexibility and support for corporate mothers at this time is not only the right thing to do but will have a tangible impact for businesses in the short-term and long-term.