When the pandemic first began, millions of women exited the workplace in order to handle child care and home responsibilities.
In fact, 48% of working women reported the pandemic negatively impacted their careers. This is a major problem many employers have been trying to correct.
But finally, some good news on this front. According to a new MetLife survey, 63% of women who left the workforce at the height of the pandemic are ready to return.
Attracting female talent
Out of those who want to return, 80% are considering careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). This gives employers in these industries a great opportunity to attract female talent by offering the benefits and support they need.
For example, MetLife does its part for gender equality through programs such as technical internships, trainings and peer mentoring to equip women with the tools they need to excel in STEM fields.
So what kind of support are women specifically looking for? Here’s what MetLife’s survey revealed:
- More diversity and inclusion in company leadership (38%)
- Benefits that better fit their needs (33%)
- More flexible work arrangements (31%)
- Training that helps them advance in their careers (30%)
- Paid internships (29%), and
- Employee resource groups (28%).
Meeting them halfway
While many woman want to get back to work, they need employers to meet them halfway.
“We need to ensure that women are inspired and empowered to grow their careers by addressing what companies can do to support women at this pivotal moment,” says MetLife’s Chief HR Officer Susan Podlogar.
One in three of the women who are interested in a STEM career aren’t sure where to start, so it’s up to companies to help guide them.
Offering this kind of support will certainly help employers deal with the “Great Resignation” and other hiring issues right now, while increasing company diversity.