Pandemic puts extra toll on working women, study shows
The COVID-19 pandemic threatens some of the progress made in achieving gender equality in the global workplace as working women are forced to take on expanded duties at home and at work at the expense of their mental and physical health.
This is based on a research by professional service firm Deloitte Global, which showed that nearly 82 percent of women surveyed globally had experienced negative disruption from this pandemic, while nearly 70 percent of the disrupted women were concerned about their ability to progress in their careers.
In the Philippines, 64 percent of working Filipino women reported that COVID-19 had adversely affected them, although they were less worried than their peers about the impact on their careers. Only 27 percent of working women in the country think the disruption will prevent them from progressing in their careers.
Deloitte polled nearly 400 working women across industries globally in August and September 2020. Deloitte Philippines surveyed 108 working Filipino women within its network.
Globally, 65 percent of working women said they had more household responsibilities now, with a third of respondents also saying their workloads increased due to the pandemic. In the Philippines, 75 percent of working women reported greater household responsibilities, with 73 percent saying they also had to face greater workload.
“This health crisis has been stressful for everyone, but this survey reveals the extra toll this unprecedented disruption has had on women, who are traditionally expected to shoulder most, if not all, household and child care responsibilities even as they build their careers. While it is encouraging that most Filipina respondents believe this crisis will not stop them from advancing professionally, we cannot ignore the impact this increased personal and professional responsibility has on their well-being,” said Anna Marie Pabellon, Deloitte Philippines’ risk advisory leader.
Asked about the specific adverse impact the pandemic has had on them, 40 percent of women worldwide said it had negative impact on their physical well-being, compared to 32 percent of Filipino women. On mental well-being, 39 percent of women globally said the pandemic had a negative impact, about the same as working women in the Philippines (38 percent).
More working women globally (40 percent) reported being unable to balance their personal and work commitments compared to working Filipino women (31 percent).
Notably, 54 percent of working women in the Philippines said they no longer had access to other activities for themselves or their children—such as spending time with friends and extra curricular activities—as an adverse impact of the pandemic, compared to just 28 percent of women globally.
As the world embraced work-from-home arrangements, workers everywhere struggled with the blurring of the lines between their home life and work life. In the Philippines, 68 percent of working women feel the need to be always online, while 49 percent believe they are evaluated based on the quality of their work and the hours they are online.
As a result, nearly half of working women—45 percent globally and 43 percent in the Philippines—report feeling overwhelmed. Forty-eight percent of women globally admitted their physical well-being was suffering, compared to 24 percent of Filipino women respondents.
“The suddenness of our shift to work-from-home left many people unprepared for managing their teams remotely, managing tasks and expectations,” Pabellon said. INQ
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