How the Pandemic Amplified Obstacles Women Face in the Workforce

Hiring, Mentorship, Recruitment
Obstacles Women Face in the Workforce

Although times have changed a lot, we still often get to read about the obstacles women face in the workforce. But this time let’s see over the past two years- the COVID19 pandemic era, how lives of women in the workforce faced this change. The pandemic has disproportionately impacted women as they struggle to balance their careers and personal lives. Sadly, the barriers to women’s economic security were heightened during the crisis. Gender, race, ethnic, and socioeconomic inequities have also been amplified. And economic insecurity goes beyond jobs and loss of income — its impact has a lasting toll on women and prevent gender equity advancement.

During the financial crisis back in 2008, men were more at risk of losing their jobs, as the industries impacted (automotive, financial, etc.) are more male-dominated. This time, however, the crisis has impacted industries in which women are overrepresented—food service, retail, and entertainment were hit hardest. It’s estimated that 40% of all employed women or 510 million women globally worked in these hard-hit sectors. Within these sectors, workers are already subjected to lower pay and lack of benefits such as healthcare. 

With quarantine measures in place, families had to home school and care for their children. With school and daycare closures, the result has been additional work for women at home. For women with full-time jobs, this means adding hours of work to their already busy schedules. 

It was also reported that women-led companies were receiving less funding in 2020. Men are more likely to get larger funding rounds partially due to being older and more established. As a result, women are set further back from catching up with their male counterparts in the corporate world.

What other obstacles were women already facing in the workforce?

Issues Fueling Gender Inequality in the Workplace

Women are severely underrepresented in business and leadership positions. Unfortunately, even in the 21st century, women continue to face discrimination in the workplace. These challenges are magnified in the corporate world, where women face an abundance of obstacles that make it harder for them to thrive. 

Here are four gender-specific barriers that some women already face in the workforce: 

  • Pro-male bias: Men are often overvalued compared to women in terms of work performance, which can be a problem when it comes to promoting or filling new positions.
  • Unequal pay: Men, on average, are paid significantly more than women for the same work. 
  • Family obligations: Employers tend to favor men over women when getting a raise or a promotion. In fact, many studies have shown that the pushback women experience when they have kids is the strongest gender bias out there.
  • Sexism: Sexism is still an obstacle to gender balance in the workplace, particularly in male-dominated industries.

Women are now about as likely as men to be in the workforce but are still paid less for equal work. In the years since the recession, more women than men have entered the workforce, a trend that has been noted in the press and by feminist organizations. In fact, women in the US have become more economically secure over the years on average. Despite this progress, women still earn less than men in almost every occupation. The wage gap is also due to women’s greater likelihood of taking time out of the workforce, which is something that has only been intensified during the pandemic. 

Women have been fighting the good fight in the workforce for years, and sometimes it feels like the war is never-ending. It is hard enough to be a woman in today’s society; to have to battle a health crisis is a difficult challenge that sets back years of progress. Even more difficult is the mental toll that all of this can take. So what can be done? How can women fight back? 

Mentorship Programs and Hiring 

In today’s workforce, it is critical that organizations do everything in their power to ensure diversity in their ranks. Studies have shown that diversity in the workplace leads to a more productive and innovative workforce and a more innovative organization. This is true because there are unique strengths and perspectives brought to the table by individuals from different backgrounds.

One such barrier to diversity is the gender gap that persists in the workforce. Women still face a glass ceiling when it comes to getting promoted into management roles. It is time to close this gap, and the first step is to hire more women in the future. That is a big issue that affects both the bottom and top lines of a company. 

Women are still a minority in specific industries, including the tech industry. As a result, many women feel isolated, without anyone to turn to for help, and even more so when they are starting their careers. Mentoring programs help young women get the support they need to succeed.

In fact, hiring and mentoring women should be the highest priority for organizations. Mentoring can be a powerful way for women to get the support and expertise they need to advance in their careers, and the results can be very rewarding for both the mentee and the mentor. Mentoring is a great way to encourage the development of leadership skills and knowledge and can be a powerful educational experience as well. It is about sharing knowledge, building relationships, and providing feedback and support. 

Mentoring can be done with peers, subordinates, and supervisors. The main idea behind mentoring is that it is beneficial to both the mentor and the one being mentored. Many studies have been conducted on the positive effect mentoring can have on leadership development, job performance, and other personal and professional outcomes.

Many organizations have a problem with gender disparity in their current workforce. Not only are there fewer women in senior management, but women in those roles are less likely to mentor junior female staff than their male peers are. We at emergiTEL have a solution: hire more women. It’s a simple concept, but one that needs to be at the heart of any organization with gender disparity and the ability to hire and mentor junior staff.

For assistance with recruiting women in tech, contact emergiTEL

How Mentorship Can Help Employees Reach Their Potential

Hiring, Mentorship, Recruitment
How Mentorship Can Help Employees Reach Their Potential

There’s an essential aspect of our work lives that is often overlooked: mentoring and coaching programs. Mentorship is a beneficial addition to the workplace, especially for employees on their way up in the ranks. When a mentor and mentee meet regularly, they can think through shared challenges in more depth, improve their knowledge and decision-making, and encourage each other to keep progressing.

If a mentor or coaching relationship can dramatically impact an employee’s career development, why not incorporate it into your company’s culture?

The Value of Guidance and Support

Mentorship is not only beneficial to the employees; it can have an extraordinary impact on a company’s performance too. Growth in employee development has shown a significant correlation with improved productivity and profitability in companies worldwide. Mentoring also promotes teamwork and a culture of collaboration, which prepares employees to thrive in the rapidly changing business world.

Mentoring helps employees understand an organization’s mission, how to get the most from their work and teach them how to grow as leaders. But it can also be a valuable source of professional and personal development for both members and the organization. For the mentee, it’s a chance to develop skills, build confidence, and learn from a seasoned professional.

If you are looking to advance the careers of your employees, then consider implementing a mentorship program. Mentoring has the potential to:

  • Enhance the career development of employees by sharing knowledge and experience gained from your own experiences.
  • Improve employee performance by providing both practical and emotional support.
  • Enhance employee retention by providing a source of engagement.

Types of Mentoring Programs

Mentorship can be informal, with the mentor and mentee having regular conversations, or it can be formal, with the mentor and mentee meeting regularly in a structured setting. Typically, the mentor and mentee are in the same industry and share a common goal. Mentoring can be one-to-one, or it can be a “twofers” model: a mentor and a mentee work together on a project or a job.

Here are some common types of mentorships:

  • Situational Mentoring: The mentor is an experienced employee who helps newer employees with training, such as learning how to use a system or platform. 
  • One-on-one Mentoring: The mentor is an experienced employee who provides career development advice and guidance to less experienced employees.
  • Peer Mentoring: The mentor and mentee are paired together, usually from different teams, to share their experiences and ideas. No employee is necessarily more experienced than the other. 
  • Contemporary Mentoring: To help promote a company’s D&I initiative, this mentoring program involves pairing a mentor and mentee who share a common experience, like age, gender, cultural background, or race. 

Finding and Keeping Top Talent

Mentorship can help companies find and keep top talent. From the company’s perspective, it’s a way to build a robust talent pipeline. Mentoring also helps people find opportunities to contribute to the organization.

You may have noticed that many of the most successful companies in the world are run by managers who have made it their mission to mentor top performers in their organizations. Particularly in an age where traditional hiring methods are obsolete, many of these managers find someone who is a terrific performer and then work tirelessly to get them into the role of CEO. 

Sure, part of this likely has to do with the fact that these companies are filled with many other high performers they want to bring into their organization. But, it’s also a testament to the rewards of mentorship.

For assistance with finding future leaders, recruiting agencies can help match promising candidates with your organization. Recruitment agencies are a resource for employers looking to easily manage and screen potential candidates. And top agencies such as emergiTEL make the process of finding the right people as easy and painless as possible.

emergiTEL is one of the fastest-growing recruitment experts in Canada, specializing in permanent, temporary, and contract jobs. With over 15 years of experience in the industry, our Canadian recruitment experts have successfully recruited thousands of skilled professionals across Canada.