• Hilary Bryan

Two effects of COVID on women - true in Aotearoa?

Number one - Are we losing women in the leadership pipeline in Aotearoa, as a result of COVID? Evidence from the US says that's what's happening there. According to research by Lean In, an American women's leadership group, the pandemic "laid waste to swaths of the female workforce at a time when there were multiple encouraging signs for women at the highest levels of corporate America".


And the reason? Parenting pressures and trying to work from home has led to stress, burnout and exhaustion. Nearly two-thirds of senior-level mothers report being unable to perform optimally, or have revised their career goals. And if they're not at work and their male counterparts are, who's likely to be promoted? You guessed it - the more visible men.

But is this happening here in Aotearoa? We certainly know unemployment for women overall is higher than for men as a result of COVID. Jobs in tourism and hospitality (largely female) have gone and jobs in construction (mainly men) have grown. And that's a huge problem.


We need some decent research here at home about women and the leadership pipeline. Are we going the same way as the US? Or has the effect of COVID not been the same here?


Number two is about networking and again it's based on US research. Marissa King, author of Social Chemistry argues that women kept up with their networks during lockdown while men didn't. Again, is that true here in Aotearoa?


Any ideas or research would be great.






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