Women under pressure as inequality in the workplace widens 

Covid-19 pandemic is forcing women out of the workplace 
Women under pressure as inequality in the workplace widens 

Young people with face masks back at work in the office after coronavirus quarantine and lockdown. File Picture. 

Concerns have been expressed this week about the pressure that women in the workplace have come under during the Covid-19 pandemic, and the negative impact this has on the progress of females in their careers and in business.

Network Ireland West Cork President, Katherine O Sullivan, who raised the matter said that in her role with the Network and a full time working mum of three, she found herself being able to empathise with women who are struggling to manage through the work/life balance pressures that have increased significantly over the past 14 months.

During the preparation for International Women’s Day in March, a number of studies and surveys delivered results that confirmed the impact of the pressures facing women.

According to the National Women’s Council of Ireland (NWCI) 20% of females felt like quitting their jobs during the pandemic while NUI Maynooth found that 10% of mothers left their jobs to homeschool.

Katherine O’Sullivan is the President of Network Ireland West Cork. She says she can empathise with women who have found themselves struggling under pressures borught about by the pandemic. Picture: Dermot Sullivan.
Katherine O’Sullivan is the President of Network Ireland West Cork. She says she can empathise with women who have found themselves struggling under pressures borught about by the pandemic. Picture: Dermot Sullivan.

Network Ireland West Cork surveyed its members and discovered that 71% found their work to be busier or more challenging since the onset of Covid-19 as they juggle jobs and family life.

“Taking into consideration all of the findings, it is essential that we provide support for the personal and professional development of women,” said Ms O’Sullivan.

“I worry about the long-term effects of the transition to working remotely, longer hours while homeschooling, childminding and managing routine family necessities.

“In addition, we lost the regular interactions with family, friends and had reduced opportunities to chat and share feelings or problems.” 

Chambers Ireland, in partnership with the Association of European Chambers of Commerce and Industry (EUROCHAMBRES) also carried out a survey and found:

  • 46% of respondents said that remote working meant they had to take on more home duties.
  • 51% of respondents noted that their work-life balance had been strongly or severely impacted in a negative sense.
  • 57% of Irish female entrepreneurs highlighted how remote working made it more difficult to carry out caring and home duties - a figure that is more than 10% higher than their European counterparts.

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