Staying on top of everything has never been easy but more women are feeling the pressure post-pandemic
87% of women say they are feeling more burnt-out at work since the pandemic in comparison to 75% of men, according to new research from Accenture to mark International Women’s Day 2023.
In a survey of over 1,000 men and women across Ireland, three-quarters of those surveyed say that demands on their personal time and daily work routine have changed since the pandemic.
- 58% of all respondents feel they need to be more ‘available’ from a work perspective since the start of the pandemic
- 64% have felt more overwhelmed by increasing responsibilities both at home and at work (73% of women versus 55% of men)
- 63% say their physical and mental wellbeing has suffered on account of this (71% of women versus 54% of men).
Meanwhile, more than two thirds of women – 68% – confessed to feeling worried about expressing their feelings around being burnt out in case it holds back their career progression.
In addition, almost half of the women surveyed have considered downshifting or leaving the workforce altogether this year. Even more worrying is that 36% of women attribute the impact of childcare responsibilities as the biggest reason for possibly downshifting their work or abandoning their career ambitions.
The research also shows that 36% of men are considering this downshifting or leaving the workforce and the biggest driver for them is increased pressure and stress.
According to the survey, primary parenting responsibilities appear to still lie with the mother, with women being identified by those surveyed who are most likely to experience childcare difficulties.
- 71% of respondents said that over the last two years colleagues have discussed childcare difficulties and of these respondents, 77% identified women as being most likely to experience it compared to 12 percent of men.
- Almost two-thirds of respondents say women in their workplace are also more likely to request changes to their working patterns to facilitate unpaid caring responsibilities.
Dr Michelle Cullen, Managing Director and Inclusion & Diversity Lead at Accenture in Ireland said the technology advances made post-pandemic offered a “once-in-a-generation opportunity” for workplace change, but we need to tread carefully.
She said: “What our survey shows is that ideas about the roles of women and men in home-building and raising a family are stubbornly stuck in an older world. These biases persist in our education systems, our businesses and even in our own family systems, and if we want to change the post-pandemic workplace, we need to confront these biases.
How can employers help?
When asked about the most beneficial actions an organisation could take to support you in your career, the most popular responses were:
- a promotion or pay rise (21%)
- flexible working options (18%)
- providing better benefits in areas like parental leave and sick leave (11%)
Dr Cullen concluded: “There is a is palpable sense of frustration among the women in this survey, a recognition that something will have to give if they want to raise a family and forge ahead in their career to the best of their ability. We must address these issues now to ensure that the next generation enter the workplace with a better shot at achieving a work-life balance and share responsibility for raising the next generation.”