There has been a max exodus of women from the workforce. While the media tends to portray COVID-19 as the culprit, the data tells us a different story: there were 2.2 million fewer women in the labor force in October 2020 than there were in October 2019.
Something seems off here… Flashback to March 2020 when families across the world were forced into a one-size-fits-all, work-from-home model.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there was a sharp decline of female workers in August of 2020, when remote education started, with the largest drop being among women with children. This group makes up the smallest percentage of the workforce today. Between the months of January and September, the largest net decline was for women with two children, and even lower for women whose oldest child is between 2 to 6 years old.
This is due to, by and large, the expectation that women are to be the primary caretakers even if they are also working, a burden that, most often, men do not experience. It really isn’t so surprising that when the global lockdowns went into place ,women were among the first to lose their jobs. It’s not surprising, but it is deeply troubling. There’s a multitude of reasons women left their jobs in the past year (termination, voluntary leave, etc.), but there’s no denying that when the chips are down, there is greater pressure on women to leave the workforce first, and that’s worth unpacking.
Know Your Worth
As a female-founded, female-run and majority female-employed agency, SimplyBe. is a testament to knowing your self worth.
When Jessica Zweig, our CEO and Founder, founded SimplyBe. in 2016, the biggest thing that helped her get it off the ground was recognizing her own self worth. It wasn’t easy, but after engaging in the process of self-acceptance, practicing growth work, and showing up as her authentic self, she started believing that she was worthy of all the good (and the bad) that comes with having your own business.
Today, SimplyBe. thrives in its womanhood despite the sobering trends in the marketplace. That’s because every person who walks into our office knows their worth—not because we’re cocky, but because we are trained and taught to love ourselves, and embrace our accomplishments humbly. (How could we possibly tell our clients to own their own self worth if we don’t practice what we preach?)
For women, self worth is probably the most important catalyst for your successes and accomplishments. So before you decide to leave your job for whatever reason, ask yourself “Is my self-worth being acknowledged here? Are the weight of my decisions being seen?” If the answer is yes (which it should be a resounding yes), then lean into it. Stand your ground, and say, “I am worthy of this. I worked for this. I deserve this.”
SimplyBe. Defies Odds
“Each time a woman stands up for herself, without knowing it possibly, without claiming it, she stands up for all women.”
– Maya Angelou
During a year that has seen more than 8,000 women leave the workplace, SimplyBe. 👏clapped back👏 and hired more women. From board members to account managers to directors, SimplyBe. made sure that it was a place where women could not only be themselves but thrive.
Now, this isn’t to say that SimplyBe. is where masculinity goes to die. In fact, we pride ourselves in balancing the fine line between femininity and masculinity.
In chapter 7 of her best-selling book “Be.”, Jessica Zweig beautifully states how she leads her business from both feminine and the masculine values:
“In many ways, business is a masculine pursuit. And yet I have chosen to run my business with femininity, love, empathy, and kindness. But what makes me different is that I can effortlessly shift between the feminine side of how I run my business and the masculine savvy required to do so in order to get shit done. I get a charge from being assertive and quick thinking, taking massive action, and problem solving. But what I am most proud of, and what I want people to know about my company, is that my team is predominantly made up of women, and I get a thrill out of “growing” them. I walk my talk by creating new female leaders in the world.”
So why does this matter?
From the start, pundits and personalities have said that the pandemic has been a great equalizer because we’re all experiencing it together. What they’re missing out on, though, is that we are all fundamentally experiencing it differently based on where we sit in the world.
Women have had to work even harder than normal since March 2019 just to maintain where they were, and even harder than that to thrive. If we are going to make more equitable workspaces, and ultimately a more equitable workforce going forward, we have to tap into the knowledge and experiences of those starting at a disadvantage. To not do so denies them and us access to all of their remarkable talents, skills, and ideas. Women have shown time and again that they can change the world, and SimplyBe. is one corner of the world making that impact. As a society, we need to honor that and create a workforce designed for them to thrive. We need a workforce that lets women simply be their most authentic selves.
But establishing a workforce that works for women requires us to do more than just take a seat at the table. We have to build a new table.
Interested in joining our team? Check out our careers page to learn about our current open positions.