Ever since the pandemic has hit us, many jokes were revolving around how men were subjected to do housework, while managing their office tasks. But on the ground, the situation for working mothers became worst for real. A small survey revealed that most working mothers were either considering leaving their jobs or are exhausted, impacting their health and mental wellbeing. To add to it, the absence of housemaids had made the situation even more challenging.
The PR industry employs more women than men because of their natural skill of being collaborative and social in group settings. Within this majority, there are a significant number of mothers, including single mothers as well. Work from home along with highly demanding child-care chores, managing the entire upkeep of their homes, family members and giving 100% focus to their work is a mammoth exercise.
In one of the poll that I had initiated in June 2020, revealed that 55% of PR practitioners are happy to continue work from home, while 45% voted against it. While work from home may appear to be the best option for the majority of men, bachelors and few who have ready help at home, a significant part of the PR industry workforce was against it. One of the primary reason was the challenges faced by mothers in the work from home setting. If the scenario continues, many leaders are worried about the implication of their workforce.
Even in normal times, many women practitioners choose to take an extended sabbatical after the childbirth, which leads to a reduction of earning, career graph and chances of promotion. When they return, they see many of their juniors moved up their ladder, bringing in a sense of loss and discomfort. The addition of pandemic is kind of double whammy for mothers who are forced to consider another short break.
This pandemic has pushed the working mothers with school-going children into a unique juggling act. This unique situation requires policies that support the working mothers and not push them towards making the hard choice between their children and job. Is the industry listening? Will clients be more considerate towards working mothers servicing their accounts?