Women’s inequality in the workplace widens due to pandemic

Women’s inequality in the workplace widens due to pandemic

Katherine O'Sullivan, Network Ireland West Cork President 2021. Picture: Dermot Sullivan

NETWORK Ireland West Cork President, Katherine O'Sullivan, expressed concerns about the pressure that women in the workplace have experienced during the global pandemic and the negative impact this has on the progress of females in their careers and businesses. 

She said: “In my role and lead as President of Network Ireland West Cork and as a full-time working mum of three, I empathise with all females struggling to manage through the work/life balance pressures that have been increased significantly this past year. I worry about the long-term effects of the transition to working remotely, longer hours, while homeschooling, childminding, and managing routine family necessities. 

"In addition, we lost the regular interactions with family, friends and had reduced opportunities to chat and share feelings or problems.”

During the preparation for International Women’s Day in March, a number of studies and surveys delivered alarming results confirming the impact of the aforementioned pressures. According to (NWCI) 20% of women felt like quitting their jobs during the pandemic while 10% of mothers left their jobs to homeschool (NUI Maynooth).

Chambers Ireland, in partnership with the Association of European Chambers of Commerce and Industry (EUROCHAMBRES), found the following results among female entrepreneurs:

· 46% of respondents noted that remote working meant they had to take on more home duties.

· 51% of respondents noted that their work-life balance had been strongly or severely impacted in a negative sense.

· 57% of Irish female entrepreneurs noted that remote working made it more difficult to carry out caring and home duties. This figure is more than 10% higher than their European counterparts.

“At Network Ireland West Cork, we surveyed our members and a staggering 71% said they found their work to be busier or more challenging since the onset of Covid-19 as they juggle jobs and family life. 

"Taking into consideration all of the findings, it is essential that we provide support for the personal and professional development of women,” Katherine added.

It was these findings alongside the larger studies that led Network Ireland to host an event focusing on stress management.

‘The Balancing Act - Overcoming Stresses and Pressures’ will provide women with advice and tips on how to manage the current stresses and find ways of coping. This online event features an expert panel, each sharing their strategies to cope with stress from their varying background.

Speakers are Sara Devoy of Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy; Noreen Coomey of Noreen Coomey, Coaching and Psychotherapy, and Claire O'Sullivan of Claire O'Sullivan Nutrition.

Sara Devoy offers an 'inside-out' approach to healing and restores and revitalizes at many levels and is ideal for all stages of life. Noreen Coomey, specialises in personal and career coaching and especially helps those suffering from any of the Big Five: workplace problems, anxiety, stress, relationship issues or health concerns. 

Claire O'Sullivan helps her clients achieve their goals by instilling a strong positive mindset, enhancing confidence, and building strong resilient foundations in nutrition and fitness.

The event takes place on Zoom on Thursday next,  April 29 at 8pm. Tickets are available from Eventbrite.

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