Gender Equality at Stake in Workplaces Due to COVID-19 Pandemic
COVID-19 disrupted the country’s economy, the operation of small businesses, and the livelihoods of millions of people around the world. But, we never thought it would disrupt gender equality in workplaces. Ever since governments imposed lockdown to curtail the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been no other go, but for everyone in the family to stay indoors. This has made the women in the house work more than ever. Though, in some households, men participate in handling the household chores, the percentage is extremely negligible compared to the work women do on a daily basis.
How Is Gender Equality Disrupted at the Workplace?
From washing to cleaning, taking care of kids to cooking, the workload has increased exponentially for the women at home. Sadly, this situation has brought us to a realization that, even after the pandemic ends, it is less likely that women would return back to work. Household responsibilities and managing kids at home might keep mothers getting back to offices. The worrisome fact here is that there are chances that offices might become a place for men. While more men are willing to get back to office once the pandemic restrictions ease, the probability of a number of working mothers who would want to go to their offices is considerably less.
While some mothers would quit jobs, the others might request for work-from-home options. Either ways, there might come a situation where companies are men-dominated. Women rights, gender equality, and gender unbiased decisions taken in companies and industries might once again go back to square one. This is an erratic situation for the growth and development of the society. It took decades for employers to ensure gender equality in workplaces and it is inconsiderate when a pandemic like this shatters it into pieces.
What Can Employers Do to Ensure Gender Equality in Workplaces?
Employers can offer flexible timings for women to adapt to work-life balance until the pandemic settles. This way, more women will be willing to step out for work rather than working remotely. Similarly, a reduction in workload or reduced work timings can help the women folks make a decision to come to offices. Another concern that mothers are worried about is the chance of acquiring the Coronavirus infection if they come to the workplace. Employers can abide by the safety standards and allot cubicles with proper protection and social distancing. This will offer confidence to women who are in a dilemma about going back to their offices to work.