Covid’s Impact On Women
Marcella Allison is an entrepreneur and top direct advertising copywriter. She founded the (not so secret) Order of the Titanides, a community to empower women freelancers and solopreneurs in the advertising and direct response industries.
On this podcast, Marcella explains to Barbara that she knew it was time to take action on behalf of women in her industry when she began witnessing the effects of the pandemic on their businesses. She says it is essential that women in leadership positions make an effort to support others at this time, in an effort to prevent losing an entire generation of women entrepreneurs. Marcella is convinced we’re at a breaking point.
Barbara reflected on how she is also finding through surveys that women are affected deeply in terms of morale, stress and overwork. She’s convinced that women at all levels – in the workplace and in the home – are working harder than they ever had.
Marcella referred to a series of articles the New York Times ran on the impact of the pandemic on women. Find some of the articles here:
Pandemic Will ‘Take Our Women 10 Years Back’ in the Workplace:
Could the Pandemic Prompt an ‘Epidemic of Loss’ of Women in the Sciences?
Why is this happening? Marcella says it’s because women have always carried much of the burden at home, and that has become an exponentially larger challenge during this pandemic. She says it’s hard to imagine how women who are copywriters and creatives are managing to work from home, with young children who may be homeschooling and without access to daycare. Marcella described a recent survey that showed the pandemic has added as many as 30 hours of extra work for the average family in terms of education and extra tasks, and women are carrying 70% of that.
See the Boston Consulting Group study Marcella referred to here:
Barbara reflected on the neuroscience of gender differences, and how that plays out in this situation. She says many CEOs have told her they recognize the extra burden placed on women right now, but they don’t know what to do about it.
Marcella also reflected on another disconcerting study by Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg and McKinsey & Company, which suggested that 1 in 4 women are thinking about downgrading their role in the workplace.
Read the ‘Women in the Workplace 2020’ report here:
Marcella says there’s no question this is also turning back the clock in terms of pay equity. She points to a recent study by the World Economic Forum showing that because of the pandemic, the gender pay gap won’t be closed for another 135 years.
Equal Gender Pay Set Back a Generation by Pandemic, WEF Says:
Barbara explained the importance of self-care for women. She says employers should be focused on creating work-life harmony in the workplace vs. work-life balance, which is really a myth.
Marcella described a session the Titanides held recently with Dr. Peter Pearson, founder of the Couples Institute. He worked with the women to help make them better negotiators for themselves in relation to household tasks. Dr. Pearson also coached the women through a series of conversations to have with their partner’s and children.
Find a link to the Couples Institute here:
Paul and Barbara reflected on the challenges in many workplaces during the Covid-19 pandemic. Barbara says the key is to embed Gender Intelligence in everything a company does. She says it’s incredibly validating for women and incredibly freeing for men to learn about and apply the knowledge gained from understanding the science of gender differences. Barbara says it really is about everyone coming together to solve the problem.
Paul suggested that men can be proactive by asking their partners at home or in the workplace if there are any ‘unspoken requests,’ relating to ways they can contribute. Barbara praised the idea saying it addresses an important assumption that women often make – that because they notice things, men should notice them too. Barbara says women also have to exercise the muscle of “letting go.” ====
Read Marcella Allison’s professional profile here:
Learn about the Titanides here: