In light of Women’s History Month, American Express’s latest Trendex report surveyed women across seven countries to gain an understanding of how the pandemic has changed their daily lives and attitudes toward work.
As previously reported in WWD, women accounted for 100 percent of job losses in December. And according to Amex’s latest data at least 5 million have lost their jobs since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in the U.S. alone.
Notably, Amex’s survey found that as we all continue to navigate the pandemic what women need the most in their professional lives is empathy and flexibility. Further, 68 percent said they want to “give back to help strengthen their own community,” meaning shopping at local businesses or being an ally to other women.
Overwhelmingly, 70 percent of women told Amex they believe life will be better a year from now and 64 percent relayed that they are hopeful for the future. In part, 55 percent of women said they are hopeful that working from home is “weakening stigmas around work-life flexibility,” while 51 percent said they feel confident about asking for more flexibility and remote work arrangements in the future.
Moreover, according to the company, the data indicates a shift in priorities while maintaining ambitious career goals. In fact, while 56 percent of working women surveyed said they still “feel ambitious for their careers,” 66 percent said priorities have dramatically changed due to the pandemic with 49 percent of respondents saying they are putting families’ health and wellbeing ahead of professional aspirations at the moment.
And, at the same time, the pandemic has created a sense of need to delay life decisions and alter career paths. According to the survey, 35 percent of women have delayed making a major life decision such as starting a new job, moving to a new home or having children. Though, 26 percent said they have started their own company and 41 percent said the pandemic actually inspired them to find a new career path. Others said they are using this time to learn new skills for the future by going back to school or taking online courses — to learn new skills both professionally and for personal development.
Nearly three-quarters of women surveyed said they believe it is “important to listen and learn from the experiences of other women.” Looking toward the future, respondents told Amex they plan to be supportive of other women with 60 percent say they plan to become an ally for other women in their personal and professional lives in 2021 and 57 percent saying they will be more intentional about supporting women-owned businesses in 2021.
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