As soon as the first shelter-in-place orders went into effect in March of 2020, we didn’t know it, but the way we work had undergone a permanent change. Many workers were laid off or sent home immediately, and many would like to continue working from home. But problems came to light that would ultimately go unsolved, especially for women. Working mothers have had trouble balancing work and family responsibilities, particularly as most children also have had school virtually. 

That’s just one of the factors that have caused significant job losses for women while companies struggle to stay afloat. Clearly, the work from home solutions we’ve come up with are insufficient for women and caregivers. Businesses will have to adopt new practices to get on the right track, and we have a few ideas that have the potential to make a big difference for company leaders and their employees. 

Fighting the Female Recession

The COVID-19 pandemic has hurt women more than men in many ways, but job loss has made the most significant impact by far. Many women have permanently lost their jobs, and even more have been forced to drop out of the workforce. These job losses are even more pronounced for women of color, and Black women in particular.

But the female recession is bad for everyone. According to McKinsey, by 2030, the GDP will be one trillion dollars less than it would be if women’s unemployment was equal to men’s unemployment.

Long-term strategies for fighting gender inequality and pay inequity in the workplace have been put in place, but in the meantime, many women are still struggling to find work and pay their bills. Women made less money than their male counterparts in the first place — and they are more likely to take lower-paying jobs. White women made seventy-nine cents for every dollar a man made in 2018, while Black women made sixty-two cents, Hispanic women made fifty-four cents and Native American women made fifty-seven cents.

So, the significant loss of jobs for women due to COVID-19 has worsened an already precarious financial situation. Clearly the impact on women and the economy at large has been significant. However, there are steps businesses can take to help fight the female recession while optimizing their marketing strategy and improving their finances.

Changing the Way You Hire Employees

Working with a fractional or outsourced sales or marketing workforce is less expensive and usually more effective than bringing on a permanent employee, and this strategy can also contribute to fighting back against the female recession. 

The many people who have been pushed out of their jobs are talented and qualified individuals who are able to work flexibly for your business. Virtual employees can work whenever they’re needed and complete tasks on time without sticking to a strict 9 AM to 5 PM work schedule. Employees from different time zones can work different hours, and employees with different commitments (like young children in school) can schedule their work around those commitments.

It just takes a little more organizing to get used to the new normal! This new way of working provides more value for businesses, and it’s great for employees as well. It improves employee satisfaction and reduces some of the stress of their life.

Incorporating More Remote Work Into Your Company

The pandemic experience has shown us that remote work is a great option when it comes to changing work practices at your business. A standard office job just doesn’t work for many people anymore, particularly for women. However, you must make sure your policies are flexible and inclusive enough for women to stay in the workforce while taking care of their children and other family members.

Changing your hiring strategy can actually boost your revenue. You can hire employees as you grow, on a fractional basis. Then, as it becomes time to hire full-time employees, you’ll have an available workforce that you won’t need to spend the time, money, or energy onboarding.

Plus, there’s no shortage of talent. Companies like fwd@rEvolution can help you out with sales. They can address your needs in areas like strategic planning, new market penetration, training and development, fractional CRO and so much more.

Or, if you’d prefer to have help with customer relationship management, you can get a hand with migration mapping and programming, automation, analytics or strategic planning.  For companies that need a little extra advice, you can get consulting about operations, sales and marketing or business strategy.

These are just a few examples — there are so many other options out there for you!

Other Ways to Fight the Female Recession

Remote work and fractional or outsourced sales strategies aren’t the only ways you can support gender equity in the workplace and fight against the female recession. Making sure you have plenty of options for part-time work can help women who may have fewer hours in the day to work during the COVID-19 pandemic. Offering sabbaticals is another great option to keep women with short-term commitments, like health problems, stay employed. 

Creating different rubrics for measuring productivity in the workplace is useful now that the nature of how we work has changed. Hours in the office or on the clock, for example, just aren’t useful measurements of productivity anymore.

Making it a priority to hire women generally will help us create and maintain a more equitable society. Pandemic or not, it’s important to avoid the pitfalls in the hiring process that may prevent women from getting hired. For example, some companies avoid hiring working mothers due to family commitments on their plate. Avoid taking these issues into consideration, and instead look into hiring the best person for the job, regardless of what else they might have going on. That way you’ll be on your way to combating the female recession and getting our economy back on track.

The Way We Work Has to Change

Despite the severity of the problems the pandemic has created, there are things we can all do to lift up our communities and make the changes we want to see. As long as businesses stay engaged, we will turn our situation around.

The way we work has to change, and we’re here to help. fwd@rEvolution can help you navigate the changing workplace culture. If you have questions about using our services for your business, book a call to learn more today.

You can also reach out and help sponsor our work to support our @rEvolutionaries!