COVID-19 has triggered an unprecedented transformation in the global labor market, with sectors that have a large percentage of women crippled overnight. This is the case for commerce, hotels and tourism, while at the same time other sectors such as technology or logistics, in which the presence of women is in the minority, have seen an increase in jobs.
Experts have already warned of the risk that the crisis will particularly affect women and, around the world, there are already warnings of a “shecession” or a “female recession”.
As regards Spain, it should be noted a growing slowdown in the participation of women in the labor market. The pandemic has only reinforced this trend already recorded in the period 2014-19. Thus, while between 2000-14 there was a very notable increase in the weight of employed women (from 37% to 46%), the increase lost momentum in the 2014-2019 recovery and stagnated in 2020. In addition, in 2020, female unemployment increased by almost 11 points above the European average, or 18.4% against 7.9%.
Women also had to take on greater responsibilities at home. Mothers, for example, spend 15 more hours per week than fathers on domestic and educational tasks. Thus, the advances of the last 20 years have enabled Spain to reach the EU-27 average of almost 69% of women aged 15 to 64, even though it remains below Central European records. or Baltic (74% of Germany) or Nordic (81% of Sweden).
According to the latest studies from ManpowerGroup, men and women coincide in their demands for future employment, with demands around flexible, hybrid and inclusive employment. Therefore, the new reality offers the opportunity to progress through 10 steps for companies to progress in gender parity:
The data backs it up: companies with more women in leadership positions perform better. It is necessary to listen and identify what the obstacles are for women. They can range from lack of referrals to lack of access to networking. Bet on conciliation and flexibility… also for remote work. Bet on women, without prejudice. For example, a woman who has children is not a barrier to taking on more responsibility, “change” starts from the top. CEOs committed to parity #parity must demonstrate their commitment to female talent with facts. Set yourself concrete and measurable goals. Team leaders need to be clear on what to do and when to achieve parity in the company. Teams should be evaluated for their results. Open up internal opportunities and prepare teams for new challenges. Learning must be a priority. The interest in updating knowledge is the main skill that professionals should have. Empower professionals with general skills in the selection criteria. Communication, creativity, collaboration … are three of the social skills most in demand in the world of employment, and also one of the most difficult to find.