Since 2016, McKinsey has partnered with LeanIn.org to track women’s progress in corporate America. Because I am the nerdiest of nerds, I have loved reading this report each year and watching us make progress despite the roadblocks.
Obviously, this year is different. The additional pressures introduced by COVID are disproportionately shouldered by women. As the report says, “Corporate America could lose over 2M women…wiping out the gains made over the past six years.”
This is only slightly better than the “Coronavirus child-care crisis will set women back a generation” headline in the Washington Post.
And we’re already seeing this – the National Women’s Law Center report shows 865,000 women left the workforce in September, 4x more than men.
(Giant sigh). What can we do?
If you are considering downshifting or leaving…
There is no judgment here. Like Brene Brown says, “If you’re not in the arena also getting your ass kicked, I’m not interested in your feedback”. As a mother of two young kids, I’m in the category most likely to downshift or leave and am in no position to judge anyone else’s decisions. However, when you decide what is right for you right now, I want to make sure that you’re looking at your full set of options.
Chances are your company doesn’t want you to go. Let’s look at the facts – it will likely cost your company somewhere between 125% and 200% of your salary to replace you – a lot more than it will cost them to keep you.
So before you go, consider negotiating to create new options for yourself. Some ideas include:
- A modified schedule to help you cover the additional 30 hours of housework women are doing in COVID
- A temporary “office” stipend so you can find somewhere outside of your home to work (e.g., I am renting my neighbor’s garage, a friend got a long-term Airbnb rental, etc.)
- A relocation bonus if moving somewhere else, like closer to family, would help you continue working during this time
- Additional support like an assistant, additional team member, etc.
- A temporary leave of absence (accompanied by regular check-ins with your boss so you remain closely linked to the company)
- A personalized solution for you. Write down your pain points, identify one or two that would help the most if rectified and then brainstorm solutions. If you have an understanding boss, you may be able to do this exercise as a team.
If you are too overwhelmed to tackle this by yourself, EMAIL ME. We can set up a Negotiation Strategy session and work through this together. If finances are a concern, let me know and I will waive the fee. We’re in a global crisis, let’s hold each other up.