When you read the news these days, regarding women leaving the work force, the outlook and reality seem bleak.
“Due to challenges created by the COVID-19 crisis, more than 1-in-4 women are considering downshifting their careers or leaving the workforce completely.”The Wall Street Journal
“There are now 3.7 million fewer women working than there were in February 2020, in large part because of the pandemic, eroding more than 30 years of progress in women’s labor force participation.”White House Fact Sheet, April 21, 2021
Not only are these the facts, but this has been my reality. I have spent the last decade and a half building a business career in a traditional corporate setting, across Consumer-Packaged Goods companies that span from cereal to mascara. I’ve built a rich network of connections, and grown my skillset to span across sales, marketing, research, and innovation. I’ve invested in my career, but COVID-19 made me re-evaluate where my investment was most needed.
When the lockdown hit in March of 2020, I added an entire workstream to my day job: manage childcare and distance learning for my two young children. I also lost my part-time nanny, my relief and respite, due to the pandemic. I did not know how I would stay afloat, deliver against my job’s requirements, while also ensuring that my kids got what they needed.
COVID realities created both unreliable childcare and unreliable school days. One exposure could turn any sense of schedule or order upside down. Some of those months went by in a blur. I recognized something had to give. I had to give. I had to make a change for myself and my family. I chose to leave my corporate job to explore something more sustainable for my life.
Fast forward to early spring 2021 and some of the facts and realities haven’t changed all that much. While the nation is becoming hopeful with relaxing Covid restrictions and rise in vaccinations, women have not as readily returned to the workforce. This year, I shifted to the gig economy and started a new career as a Research Strategy Consultant with SIVO Insights, a local firm that really understands what it looks like to do the work you love while also being present for your family.
For me SIVO has been a beacon, offering me a way to continue investing in my career without compromising my family, especially during a pandemic. SIVO is a woman owned and operated business founded on the belief that the world needs more people doing what they love. SIVO recognized 12 years ago there was an overflow of great talent that wanted to work but NEEDED flexibility, especially parents juggling family and childcare demands.
I’ve learned that part of making it ‘work’ as a working mom is to find the type of work that meets your needs. Workplace norms have pivoted to meet marketplace realities. My advice to women is to consider something that fits YOUR lifestyle priorities instead of the other way around.
I love being a part of an organization like SIVO Insights, a company committed to redefining what work looks like. SIVO is helping companies work differently through their On Demand Talent (ODT) practice, which helps fill in resource gaps for short or longer-term engagements. Sometimes a company just needs an extra perspective on a special project, or someone to fill in during a parental leave.
SIVO Insights ODT can provide the right talent – at the right time – so that companies can keep moving forward without disrupting workflows or putting additional strain on existing staff. I am currently on an ODT assignment and am loving the opportunity to work on unique business problems while, not only continuing to nurture my professional career, but also be the kind of mom I want to be for my family.
Are you curious what working differently looks like? – just ask. SIVO Insights can help you figure out the best path forward for you or your company to get the resources – and talent – you need.