Executive women shoulder the burden as pandemic stresses caregivers, Chief survey finds


Executive women shoulder the burden as pandemic stresses caregivers, Chief survey finds

Anne Stych, Staff Writer, Bizwomen

A new report examining the impact of the pandemic on executive women found that they are shouldering more responsibility at work regardless of their personal situation and face an unstated expectation that they should better be able to manage parents and caregivers on their teams because of their gender.

The survey included input from more than 300 members of Chief, a private network for businesswomen at the rising VP or above level.

“The news that women are shouldering the burden at home was frustrating, but not all that surprising,” said Chief co-founder and CEO Carolyn Childers. “What was surprising was the amount of extra responsibilities on top of an already full plate women are taking on in the workplace.

“This is a problem that we know is being addressed in women’s inner circles, and we think companies need to be aware of just how close to burnout their senior women leaders are.”

While the majority of the Chief members surveyed said they are caregivers (65%), more than 77% of survey respondents who are not caregivers said they feel they’ve had to work harder than their caregiving co-workers.

Conversely, 39% of caregiving women feel they work harder than their co-workers who are not parents or caregivers. But most (85%) said they do not feel their colleagues resent them because they have increased obligations outside of work.

Increased childcare support was the number-one way that the executive women said companies could best help employees work better during the pandemic.

Seven in 10 executive women said they have taken on more professional responsibilities since the start of the pandemic, with nearly half (45%) citing managing others while dealing with their own challenges as their biggest hurdle. Nearly seven in 10 (68%) reported being more or much more isolated and lonely, while 77% reported being more or much more stressed.

Despite the challenges of the pandemic, 75% of women surveyed said their companies have done enough to support employees, and more women feel positively towards their company than negatively, 35% vs 23%.

The survey also found that the pandemic is forcing many executive women to consider change their career course, even if they weren’t directly laid off. Nearly one-fourth (24%) said they plan to leave their position sooner due to their company’s response to the pandemic

Chief is a private network headquartered in New York City with locations in Los Angeles and Chicago, and is currently accepting members in Boston and San Francisco.

Article originally appeared on Bizwomen.

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