Women in a Post-Pandemic Workplace from an Early Career Perspective
This International Women’s Day looks completely different to any other. Whilst no one’s life has remained untouched following the COVID-19 pandemic, research has shown that those identifying as women in particular have been negatively affected. Women are more likely to have experienced intensified caregiving and household burden during the pandemic, which for many has led them to taking a step back from their careers or leaving the workforce entirely. In Australia, women have experienced a greater reduction in both working hours and labour force participation than those identifying as men.
However, Steople have risen to the challenge and have actually increased their number of female working staff by almost 40%, and continue to provide flexible arrangements for all staff to achieve a realistic work-life balance. During this shift, we are seeing more than ever the idea that ‘women need to work a certain way to be successful’ being challenged each day. From flexible working hours to setting boundaries, the Steople women have the confidence to implement daily practices that allow them to focus on what is important to them as a Steople member, a mother, a student, or even a dog-mum, allowing for a more realistic and tailored work-life balance.
There is also the acknowledgement and recognition that men require a new work-life balance, juggling a variety of personal commitments just like women, from dropping the kids off at school to spending time studying for a new degree, we can really see how everyone is working together for equality. Understandably, we can no longer define a perfect formula for work, we can see there is so much room for everyone to show their individualistic strengths and contribute in your own unique way. What is great about this new development is that there is opportunity, empowerment, and space to work the way that is best suited for each individual.
As we are all towards the beginning of our careers: a third-year psychology student, Master of Psychology (Organisational) students, and recent Associate Consultant, we have been lucky enough to meet so many powerful women and be a part of a team that foster and support equality for women in the workplace. We have seen strong female leaders show us how to play to our strengths, improve our development areas, and carve out our own unique way of practice, all while being true to ourselves. This message is so important for young women, especially in a time were the workplace as we know it is going through a permanent change. Bringing attention to the way’s women are supported and encouraged, paves an extraordinary future for our women of current and future generations.
This International Women’s Day theme is #choosetochallenge, asking people to challenge gender bias and inequality. We ask all to challenge any pre-conceived notions of how women operate in the workplace, because we can work together effectively in our own amazing ways and can have a work-life balance like anyone else. Thank you Steople for showing us that it is not about how brightly, but rather the different ways in which women can shine.