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How the pandemic has delivered a blow to workforce equality


The COVID-19 pandemic has dealt a significant blow to gender equality in the Australian workforce, a new report reveals.


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Three quarters of Australian women say their workload has increased since the onset of the pandemic, women’s job satisfaction has declined from 69 to 47 per cent, and nearly half of working women are feeling less optimistic about their career prospects than they were before the pandemic.

The results of a survey of 500 Australian women are revealed in a new report from Deloitte Global, “Women @ Work: A Global Outlook”.

The firm also interviewed 5000 women across ten countries, with similar trends in each.

Deloitte’s Chief Strategy Officer Clare Harding said the survey findings showed that business and government need to rethink the level of flexibility and support women need.

“While the adverse impact on women’s wellbeing, motivation, and engagement is obvious, our research also shows that some employers are getting it right: The women who work for these organisations report higher levels of mental wellbeing, job satisfaction, motivation and productivity,” Harding said.

“As we start to build workplaces for the future, we have an opportunity to get gender equality and inclusion right. Rather than setting back years of progress we can use this moment to move forward.”

While most women say their workloads have increased, 64 per cent of women also say they take on the bulk of tasks and household management at home.

Six in ten of Australian women surveyed say their household commitments have increased with the pandemic.

They also reported a 35-point drop in their mental health and a 27-point drop in motivation at work, when asked to compare how they felt now compared to before the pandemic.

Globally, almost a quarter of women say they are considering leaving, or are likely to leave, the workforce altogether as a result of the impact of COVID-19.

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