As we continue facing the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic each day, it’s crucial to reflect on how this crisis has uniquely affected women and girls.
There have been a number of studies completed in recent months on this topic and the results are astounding. According to a study conducted by Deloitte of nearly 400 working women across nine countries, 82% of the women surveyed said their lives have been negatively disrupted by the pandemic and nearly 70% are concerned their career growth may be limited as a result.
Similarly, McKinsey & Company’s 2020 edition of Women in the Workplace found that more than two million women could leave corporate America during the pandemic. McKinsey’s findings also conclude that working moms, Black women and senior women face even more challenges.
The short-term effect of COVID-19 on families is just one part of the equation. Longer term, we must think about the next generation. How will girls today be affected by these significant changes? What will the workplace look like in 2030, given the pandemic? How should we be preparing our girls for their future?
Here at Girls Inc., we are working hard to process, discuss, and pivot our services as the pandemic continues impacting the lives of our girls. We strive to prepare girls for the myriad of changes in our world, many of which are heightened and complicated by this pandemic.
What will not change is our mission to inspire all girls to be strong, smart and bold. There is no question that girls will need these skills to successfully navigate the challenges they are facing today as well as those they will encounter as they continue their education and eventually enter the workforce.
There is no question that we have much work to do. We know this pandemic has impacted everyone in different ways. What we don’t know is exactly what the world will look like moving forward. We are grateful to our Board of Directors, who are helping Girls Inc. navigate these unchartered waters. Many members of our board are women in corporate roles and they are offering invaluable insights and experiences to ensure we are considering all possibilities and opportunities for our girls.
As we look ahead, we are encouraged and hopeful, despite the challenges we know will come. As Eleanor Roosevelt said, “the future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” At Girls Inc., we will always encourage our girls to dream. We know the future, whatever it may be, belongs to them.