Women's Voice: Looking beyond diversity and inclusion
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Women’s Voice: Looking beyond diversity and inclusion

Women’s Voice: Looking beyond diversity and inclusion

Working mothers have been among the hardest hit by the pandemic

The past year has presented a number of unforeseeable challenges for both businesses and households alike. Working parents soon found their homes turning into not only makeshift offices, but also fully-fledged classrooms. While this brought parents and children closer together, it has also placed increasing strain with regards to managing work-life balance and keeping personal and professional lives separate.

The pandemic has not only presented logistical challenges but has also affected our mental and physical wellbeing. With rules in place on how and where we engage with each other, parents have had to consider how to build their children’s social skills through new ways, while also trying to find time for themselves. In households where one of the parents may have lost their job, one can only imagine the difficultly of putting on a brave face and keeping it all together.

Working mothers have been among the hardest hit by the pandemic, with research conducted by McKinsey among 40,000 working women in corporate America showing that mothers have contributed more towards household needs than fathers, on top of their day jobs at work. Working mothers are also more than twice as likely to worry about their work performance being perceived negatively, due to their responsibilities of caregiving at home than other groups, which has placed compounded stress over the past year.

The overnight change to working from anywhere has led to an always-on mindset, where you can make a call any time and get a response almost instantly. For working mothers, however, this places a huge strain on trying to strike a balance. A necessary change which has addressed some of these issues is the move to more flexible working hours.

This year’s International Women’s Day theme #ChoosetoChallenge also helps remind us to have the courage to speak up. While there is certainly progress in gender equality, we still have a long way to go and often having the courage to challenge may help other understand something they would have ordinarily overlooked.

It is our collective duty to challenge the status quo, and we need greater “allyship” between men and women in order to achieve this, as real change cannot happen by the will or efforts of one group alone.

This International Women’s Day, we at Lenovo are driving a shared sense of responsibility among organisations and key opinion leaders to use their platforms as a means of change. Internally we are working with other tech companies as part of the ‘Connecting Women in Tech’ group, to highlight the roles which organisations can play in tackling gender based issues in the workplace.

Claire Carter is the marketing director at Lenovo MEA and Women in Lenovo Leadership ambassador

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