The covid crisis would have accentuated gender inequalities at work

More isolated, more anxious, more struck by the mental load …, a study by the Boston Consulting Group evokes a worrying backward movement for women.

That the covid crisis has had negative consequences on the mental health of employees is certain. Whether it is our relationship to telework or anxieties linked to the professional future, the pandemic and confinements have strongly impacted our relationship to work.

According to a study * by the BCG (Boston Consulting Group), 33% of employees surveyed consider that the epidemic has negative consequences on their career prospects (promotion, transfer, etc.). And 70% are frequently in a situation of anxiety.

And it seems that this crisis is affecting women the hardest according to the study. Enough to accentuate the inequalities with men, the study even speaking of a “turning back”.

Increased anxiety

In the private sector, only 60% of women have confidence in their professional future, which is 15% less than men.

How is this illustrated in their daily work? Compared to their male colleagues, they are 13% less to have maintained their professional network since the start of the crisis, and 29% less to have spoken in meetings. They therefore feel more isolated from their colleagues.

In teleworking, they are 1.3 times less likely than men to have an isolated space and are 1.5 times more likely to be frequently interrupted when they telework.

The mental load is one of the unprecedented consequences of this reorganization of work.

At home, men are certainly doing more since the crisis, which gives hope for a transition to a “new balance” in the longer term. But, even if the increase in domestic chores and the time spent with children concern all salaried parents, women still bear the brunt of the weight, “said the study.

Mental load

This difficult work-life balance weighs more heavily on women’s mental health: they are 1.3 times more likely to be in a situation of anxiety. Moreover, 60% of women who have reduced their hours fear a return to pre-crisis hours, against 40% of men.

The crisis has revealed and further widened the gap between men and women in professional life. So how can we ensure that women managers between 25 and 40 are not a lost generation? “Asks Jessica Apotheker, Associate Director at BCG.

“Without awareness on the part of companies and society, without special attention paid to career support for women, we risk not emerging from the top of the crisis,” she warns.

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* BCG carried out this survey with Ipsos. 2002 French employees usually working in an office were surveyed, including 1001 men and 1001 women, belonging to both the public and private sectors (quotas defined from a representative sample of employees).

Olivier Chicheportiche BFM Business journalist

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