Business leaders, activists and politicians told Monday’s online meeting hosted by the World Economic Forum that women risk losing hard-earned earnings at work due to the fallout from the pandemic.
Businesses need female employees to help them recover from the coronavirus pandemic and must not let gender equality slip off their agendas due to the difficult business climate, a virtual meeting of global figures heard on Monday.
Women have been hit hard by the economic impact of the pandemic, and the International Labor Organization warned last year that COVID-19 threatened to wipe out “modest progress” on equality at work in the world. over the past decades.
Business leaders, activists and politicians told Monday’s online meeting hosted by the World Economic Forum that women risk losing hard-earned gains at work.
“I’ve heard a lot of organizations say, ‘Well, we have so many big issues that diversity really can’t be of interest to us right now,’” said Laura Liswood, general secretary of the Council of Women World Leaders.
“This is the complete opposite of the truth, because in times of crisis you need the most creative ideas and the most different experiences and perspectives, which diversity offers.”
The disparity exists in part because women are more likely to be in precarious jobs, while many have also struggled to balance employment, extra care responsibilities and home schooling.
Too often, their needs are put last in pandemic response strategies, women leaders said at the meeting.
“In times of crisis, unfortunately, the gender perspective is often the first thing to ignore,” said Swedish Foreign Minister Ann Linde.
There is “a lot of will” among companies to tackle gender inequalities, but not always enough attention to set and track recruitment, promotion and fair compensation targets, said Martine Ferland, Managing Director General of the Mercer Advisory Fund.
Meanwhile, Liswood said she had come to support the idea of quotas for women in politics and business, to ensure that women have a “seat at the table” to influence decisions.
Panel members said governments, businesses and civil society groups must work together to promote equity in the recovery, with stimulus measures offering a chance to rebalance the scales.
“We will pay great attention to respect for gender parity in the implementation of our national recovery plan,” said Elisabeth Moreno, French Minister for Gender Equality.
“It is extremely important that women are not left behind in these times of a pandemic,” Moreno said. “There is no better time to involve women in the workforce.”