Katica's Voice™

“Gender equity is not only a social issue, it is a massive economic opportunity.”

Back To Katica's Voice

By Katica Roy, CEO and Founder

May 4, 2020

COVID-19 Aggravating Caregiver Burnout—Can I Tell My Supervisor?

Categories: Economics of Gender Equity  Events  Gender Equity  Gender Mainstreaming  Katica's Voice  News  Uncategorized  
Tags: breadwinner mom  caregiver  caregiver burnout  covid-19  gender equity  gender equity in the workplace  

Welcome to my weekly Q&A roundup. (Scroll down to find the Q&A.)

If this is your first time here, welcome. I spend a fair amount of time speaking at events and conferences. At the end of my presentations, I leave space for audience members to ask questions—tough questions, brave questions, you name it.

The level of candor and curiosity always inspires me, and I want to share that sentiment with you. So each week, I pick one question that I believe others would find most instructive and publish my response to it here.

The purpose of this weekly tradition is transparency and inclusivity.

• Transparency: a behind-the-scenes look at my day-to-day.

• Inclusivity: bringing others along in the journey.

Be Brave™


COVID-19 vs. Caregiver Burnout: Is There a Solution?

Question:

I am a mother of two, I work full-time, and I care for my elderly father. Before COVID-19, balancing caretaking responsibilities with my job was difficult. Now it’s almost impossible. How can I tell my supervisor that I need support without putting my professional ambitions (or economic security) on the line?

Answer:

You’re not alone. The burden of dual-caregiving responsibility—caring for an elderly parent and growing children—has become exceptionally heavy for women. (Here’s a great explainer on the economics of dual-caregiving responsibility.) The pressure is palpable, and you’re not the only one who feels it. Researchers have picked up on it too:

“By most objective measures the lives of women in the United States have improved over the past 35 years, yet we show that measures of subjective well-being indicate that women’s happiness has declined both absolutely and relative to men.”

The Paradox of Declining Female Happiness, published by the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania 

 

So here’s the good news. COVID-19 has done a fabulous job of exposing the realities of being a dual caregiver (caring for an elderly parent plus raising children) and a working parent. It’s also done a fabulous job of accelerating the adoption of flexible work-from-home arrangements.

This delicate moment in history is an opportunity to create groundswell support for gender equity in the workplace. Business leaders, many of them, are listening. 

When I fought for equitable pay (twice), I came to my leaders equipped with the data. I recommend you do the same when asking for support. Present the business case for why employers should provide equitable caretaking policies.

Here are some data points to consider using:

• Almost 90% of people are less likely to want to work for a company that treats employees poorly during this crisis.

78% of working fathers and mothers said caring for family members during COVID-19 has been “somewhat to extremely difficult.”

• Women are more likely to be caregivers than men (55% of women versus 45% of men) and take on the majority of household caregiving duties (more than 21 hours per week).

• Yet, women are the most educated cohort in the US and 80% of them would leave their companies if they felt a different company offered greater gender equality.

• During the Great Recession, the experience of key employee groups such as women and people of color influenced whether an organization “flatlined, merely survived, or thrived.” (Positive experience correlated with better company performance.)

Finally, acknowledge that taking a stand for gender equity is the brave choice. And for businesses that embrace gender equity now, they can come out of this crisis faster and stronger.

P.S. You may find the recommendations at the bottom of this resource helpful in shaping equitable caregiver policies.


These Q&A roundups can be delivered directly to you—a week before I publish them here. Interested?

Join the Brave Souls® community

(All you need is an email address.)

© 2020 Pipeline Equity™, Inc.

Back to Top

Upcoming Events

Collision | Is inclusive finance in the US a pipe dream?

Jun 24 |
| Wed 04:40 PM - 04:50 PM EST

As fintechs race towards a one-size-fits-all mobile wallet, in a divided U.S market, how do you ensure your product remains inclusive?

Read More Get Tickets

The Information | 2020 WTF Summit

Sep 10 | New York City
| Thu All Day

We are thrilled to announce The Information’s 2020 WTF Summit is returning to New York City on Thursday, September 10, 2020. The Information’s WTF is an invite-only summit and ongoing membership community of women from the tech, media and finance industries.  

Read More