With lockdowns, lay-offs, and childcare and school responsibilities, the global pandemic has rocked the working world, and as we are seeing in the news every single day, women disproportionately have absorbed the impact.
In March 2021, the World Economic Forum Report released a new report on the Global Gender Gap. Since the pandemic began, the report estimates that 5% of women lost their jobs, compared to 3.9% of men, and that the number of years to reach global gender parity increased a full generation, from 99.5 to 135.6 years. In addition, there was a decline of women being hired to leadership roles, reversing progress of the past two years.
These are sobering figures, and TheWMarketplace is concerned about the lingering consequences of the pandemic on gender parity. However, we believe that as we navigate a new normal, we can recreate a world that is centered on equality, voice and parity. It will take a conscious effort, a determined focus, and the understanding that each person has a voice that carries weight, that purchasing decisions hold enormous power, and that this is an opportunity to uplift all women. With this in mind, we can take strides to reverse the economic effects of Covid-19 on women.
One bright spot is the role of technology and digital communication, which can be impactful in closing the gender gap. Technology has connected the world in ways that were only hinted at prior to 2020, allowing families, businesses, schools, networks and communities to connect over Zoom, Skype, and other apps. Technology has helped everyone share stories quickly and efficiently and has reinforced that instant communication has the potential to reach broader audiences, create greater influence, and spark movements for change.
What's more, as businesses begin to reopen and communities start to bustle, there is an opportunity to realign personal spending with values. to help create change and move the needle on the gender gap.
Because women make up 51% of the population, our voices have potential to reach broad audiences. Coming out of the pandemic, there are many women-oriented programs, podcasts and organizations that support and empower women. By jumping at the opportunity to help another woman reach personal autonomy, whether in a big or small way, it inevitably progresses the closure of the gender gap.
We are determined to move the needle on the gender gap, but it’s going to take both societal and individual action. Efforts to get more women into leadership roles in business and into positions of political power will be essential to closing the gap. But it’s also going to require individual efforts, like intentional spending at companies that reflect your values. The pandemic gave us a lot of time to reflect on our lives and how we want to live them. Now let’s put that into action.