In organizations not offering health and well-being initiatives, only 15 percent of employees are resilient. Conversely, in organizations offering broad health and wellbeing initiatives, that number increases to 45 percent.
As mentioned previously, COVID-19 shed light on the disproportionate impact of crises on working women. Women accounted for 54 percent of overall job losses, despite only making up 39 percent of global employment, according to McKinsey.
This is, in part, because women are paid less than men globally. According to the World Economic Forum, women receive, on average, two-thirds what men are paid for equivalent work, and that decreases further for women of color. The pay gap is compounded by women’s frequent role as family caretakers. For example, during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, many couples decided out of necessity that the higher earner would continue working while the other tended to childcare and monitoring remote learning. It is worth noting that lower pay also impacts the savings (including retirement savings) of women and savings are key to resilience.
Climate-related disasters can similarly impede women in the workforce. Globally, women spend two to 10 times more time on unpaid care work than men, according to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), and that work increases post-disaster. For example, after Hurricane Maria struck Puerto Rico in 2017, women were hit the hardest when it came to recovering from the destruction, a report from Oxfam found. According to the report:
Women were usually the ones who spent hours wringing sodden towels by hand and hanging them to dry, carrying containers of water into the kitchen, bathing children in buckets, or washing floors with rainwater collected in cans.”
Women are more often left to take care of families, households, and communities after natural disasters and climate-related events. These daytime activities disrupt their education and employment, according to the World Economic Forum. This is because climate-related events exacerbate existing inequities. But the opportunities that emerge when there is gender parity are bountiful.
Gender parity in the labor market would boost global GDP and bring an extra $2.1 trillion in global insurance premiums alone by 2029 due to their increased financial power, according to Swiss Re. It will help companies fill positions in a labor shortage, especially considering that there are more educated women in the current workforce than educated men.
Employee benefits and insurance products, designed with female workers and customers in mind, can be one good place for businesses to start, according to Annelieke van Mens, Managing Consultant at Aon.
We’ve been talking to our clients about DEI in the context of employee benefits. We look at, ‘What are you offering to accommodate the different groups in your company to help them perform?’ ”
Annelieke van Mens Managing Consultant, Aon
“Companies will be smart to assess their benefits programs to ensure that they track with the DEI mission.”
Linda Beavis Global Leader, Expat, Aon