Special Issue "Changing Realities for Women and Work: The Impact of COVID-19 and Prospects for the Post-Pandemic Work World"
A special issue of Merits (ISSN 2673-8104).
Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 May 2023) | Viewed by 20480
Interests: gender; leadership; commons; education; evaluation
Interests: diverse leadership and cultures; politics and civic engagement; freedom of speech; media studies and new technologies
Interests: cross-cultural perspectives of healthcare utilization of Asian immigrants; understand healthy aging cross-culturally; diversity and inclusion; transformational servant leadership; leadership and gender; assessment (VR-12, MDS-HC, Hogan, TJTA, Birkman, GMI) and outcome evaluation
The challenges women face in the workforce have been widely researched for several decades. Unequal access to certain professions and the education required for entrance, unequal pay with men, the burden of unpaid care work, the inability of women to rise to senior leadership positions, the impact of discrimination on the ability of women of color to advance, and sexual harassment and violence against women in the workplace, among many other issues, have prevented women from enjoying the same privileges as men at work. Recognizing these challenges, the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals 2015 to 2030 focuses on women and work as a major centerpiece of their efforts over the next 15 years. The United Nations reports that globally, women represent only 25.6% of members of Parliaments, 36.3% in local government, and 28.2% in managerial positions. Although progress has been made since the 1995 Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action organized a global group to work together to improve the status of women overall and promote their increased participation in the economy, much effort still needs to be made.
The pandemic has exacerbated many of these challenges as it emphasized women’s needs and preferences that must be addressed in the post-pandemic work world. This Special Issue on “Changing Realities for Women and Work: The Impact of COVID-19 and Prospects for the Post-Pandemic Work World” presents research and theoretical discussions regarding the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on women’s work and work–life balance and what is emerging as the post-pandemic future of work. The articles discuss how women in various professions and employment have adapted to the pandemic and what has been the impact of the pandemic on their care burden. Continuing issues facing women in the workforce are also discussed, including the “glass ceiling” preventing women, especially women of color, from rising to senior leadership positions; the “broken rung” of promotions favoring men over women; the continuing challenge of unpaid care work; the continued discrimination against women of color; the inability of women in many countries to access certain professions; women’s universal call for more flexibility in the workplace; and other key issues that still need to be addressed so that women can experience equality at work. It is anticipated that this Special Issue will stimulate further discussion regarding the changing nature of work for women, conditions experienced at the workplace, and attitudes toward work–life balance.
The global coronavirus pandemic has changed the work life of individuals throughout the world and had a particularly troubling impact on women and their work. According to the McKinsey and Company Leadin.org “Women in the Workplace” 2020 report, the pandemic has disrupted the corporate workplace in ways never seen before and threatened to erase the gains in work that women have enjoyed over the last six years. The report found that in addition to fearing furlough or layoff, women have suffered burnout from the disruption of their work–life balance and the stress caused by the additional responsibilities of balancing work, childcare, and child education. Women of color have been disproportionately impacted by the negative impacts of the pandemic, the report asserts. During 2020, women also continued to experience the “broken rung” of promotions, experiencing far fewer advancements than men. Power (2020) argued that the pandemic has greatly increased the care burden of women and families, exacerbating the unpaid care work issue that has plagued women and work. Women in the corporate world continue to request more sustainable and flexible work situations, a request magnified by the stress of managing work and the “second” and “third” shifts during the pandemic. Data show that “allyship” between white women and women of color helps to address the stress caused by the pandemic as well as discrimination and barriers women of color face in the workplace. Allyship has also been shown to be key to supporting women of color and their communities when facing the dire consequences of broader social discrimination, such as the murder of George Floyd or the increased violence against Asians.
The purpose of this Special Issue on “Changing Realities for Women and Work: The Impact of the Coronavirus and Prospects for the Post-Pandemic Work World” will be to present research and theoretical discussions regarding the impact of the pandemic on all aspects of women and work and to look ahead to a post-pandemic work world and changes that still need to be made. This issue builds on the wide-ranging research into women and work,
Potential topics, among others, include:
- The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the work life of women on the front lines, in education, health, government, the non-profit sector, agriculture, or other sectors;
- How work–life balance has changed dramatically during the pandemic. Has it changed differently for women in different professions and jobs?
- Will changes in work and work–life balance caused by the pandemic persist in the future?
- What is the impact of the “third shift” on women’s work and wellbeing?
- The emotional impact of the pandemic on women and their work;
- How instability of employment caused by the pandemic has impacted the gains women have achieved in the workforce;
- What women are demanding for the future of their work. What has the pandemic taught women regarding what they value and need in their work situations?
- How salary differentials between men and women are lingering and will continue after the pandemic;
- What have been the work challenges faced by women of color during the pandemic and how do these compare with the challenges faced by white women?
- How has “allyship” between white women and women of color been practiced during the pandemic and what has been its impact?
- How has violence against African Americans and Asians impacted women from these communities in the workplace?
- How has stress impacted women in different jobs and professions during the pandemic, and what changes need to take place to address this stress now and in the post-pandemic workplace?
- What would be the impact of state-financed childcare on the care burden of women?
- What would be the impact of state-financed and required preschool on the care burden of women?
- What impact has the pandemic had on the work of women in other countries (select one or more countries for comparison)?
- What do global surveys show how the work status of women has changed as the result of the pandemic?
- Will work return to “normal” after the pandemic or are the changes part of a new definition of work and work-life balance?
- What are the challenges that remain for women and work?
- What actions should women take to improve their status in the workplace?
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Dr. Randal Joy Thompson
Dr. Chrys Egan
Dr. Tina Wu
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- women and work
- work-life balance
- gender equality