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Returning To The Office: Supporting Women In The Workforce

Hugh Grant

While offices across the country are opening back up, some workers are scrambling to get themselves ready to return to their careers after years of being away. Women specifically have faced unique challenges to overcome throughout the pandemic and still face some barriers when looking to return to the office.

During the COVID-19 pandemic nearly 2 million women disappeared from the workforce. As businesses shut down, many workers lost their jobs, but women were affected more than men due to added societal pressures. The pressure to leave their careers and stay home to care for loved ones was especially prevalent during the pandemic and even continues now. 32% of women say they need to be home to care for children and loved ones, and 12% report not wanting to return to work due to the cost of paying for childcare.

The added stress of caring for children certainly contributed to the amount of women leaving the workforce, but the judgment of women in business has contributed to the lack of women returning to their careers. 61% of US workers at or over 45 say they have witnessed or experienced ageism, and this especially affects women. Older female workers are more likely to be fired than their male counterparts. They also face ageism bias at least five years earlier than men.

Women also have to face lookism in the workplace. 44% of women experience feeling negative feelings when not wearing makeup. Women are also pressured to dye their hair and maintain youthful beauty standards to keep a job. In fact, when a woman gains 64 pounds, her wage drops 9%.

With the added stress and judgment when returning to work, it is no wonder some women are hesitant to come back after being away from the workforce during the pandemic. This is why it is more important than ever to help women feel strong and empowered as they make their way back to the workforce.

One of the ways that women are supporting their own return to the workforce is by pursuing professional mentorship. 45% of women say they would feel less anxious at work if they could conquer self doubt. Being mentored can help women conquer that self doubt and increase their confidence and self esteem. By being more confident in their own abilities, women excel in their professional abilities and their chances for a promotion increase as well.

Businesses are also supporting women returning to the workforce by allowing more flexibility for remote work. While some women feel pressured that they need to stay home to care for their children, other women genuinely do want to stay home to engage in care work as well as work a day job. Women report that flex remote work helps them spend more time with their family, has a positive impact on their career growth, and helps them to experience less bias.

While professional confidence is one of the most important aspects of women feeling empowered when returning to work, physical confidence is important as well. Many women want to regain confidence in their physical appearances before returning to work, especially those who had children while they were away from the workforce. 39% of new moms say they’re insecure about their post baby bodies, and cosmetic procedures are a way to regain their confidence.

Mommy makeovers are procedures such as tummy tucks and liposuction that can help women feel like their most confident and empowered selves as they return to the workforce. The amount of women in the workforce today is more than before the pandemic, and that is due in part to the ways we have supported women and women have supported themselves in their return to the workforce.

© Scoop Media

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