How to stop COVID from reversing gender equality

Social inequality is at the forefront of the conversation. There are many ways that inequality has existed in the past and continues to exist today. So many groups seek fairness including the LBGTQ+ community, black lives matter, and the me too movement.

Today, women are on my mind. I have been thinking a lot about how the current pandemic has been affecting women globally and locally. There has been a rise in domestic abuse cases and the workload of mothers has doubled since many schools have shifted to online learning.  Women make up 39% of global employment but account for 54% of overall job losses.

I recently read multiple articles with studies warning that COVID-19 ‘risks reversing decades of progress concerning gender equality in the workforce.’ I think I threw up in my mouth a little when I read that. That is an unacceptable outcome. It immediately got my brain thinking… What can we do to stop this regression?

1. Keep our eyes open for signs of inequalities. This pertains to all inequalities. It’s important to stand up for the values we know are right. In order to continue to advance as a country, we need to hold each other accountable and speak out when we see injustice occurring.

2. Invest in people. Whether women, people of color, or those that are underrepresented wherever you are. I am of course a fan of equality on the platform. Do conferences (live or virtual), have a diverse set of speakers and viewpoints?

3. Attend. Not only should we provide opportunities for others to learn, we too should attend conferences to expand out thinking. We can support women-led conferences and help spread the word about future engagements and we can support female-owned and operated businesses.

I am trying to do just that. In my pursuit of supporting women’s equality and empowerment, I want to share an exciting virtual event taking place on November 9-12. The Women in Leadership Institute is highlighting some amazingly inspirational women such as award-winning journalist Soledad O’Brien, best-selling author Glennon Doyle, and Wall Street legend Carla Harris, among many others.

This is a unique leadership experience, designed specifically for women who are ready for what’s next in their careers, and also includes a leadership assessment, Master Classes, and small group virtual learning.

Now is the time we need to be innovative and progressive. We need to continue forward with the quest for equality—never going backward.

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