Compared to about 16-percent of men, over 25-percent of women say they may leave or downshift their jobs within a year—adding up to about two million American women—due to the economic and personal hardships caused by a year of crises. Our business community risks losing women in leadership and future women leaders if we do not develop comprehensive plans to support and advance women through this time.
According to McKinsey & Company’s annual gender equity report, women have been more likely to face difficulty as a result of the COVID-19 crisis, like taking on childcare or homeschooling on top of already full workweeks. This was also true for women of color, but with the added emotional toll of recent racial injustices and the disproportionate impact of the virus on Black and brown communities. McKinsey notes that Black women, in particular, faced more significant barriers to workplace advancement and a lack of leadership support pre-pandemic leading recent events to exacerbate these existing hardships within this segment of the workforce.