The greatest threat to women in the workforce at present is COVID-19. Women are losing their jobs during this pandemic as they are more likely to be in part-time, contract or temporary work and are therefore most likely to be the first removed from the payroll.

Women are in greater numbers working in hospitality, retail and service sectors. These jobs are seen as high risk, these workers among the first to be stood down as COVID-19 impacted on the world.

The Dream Collective founder Sarah Liu has launched ShePivots in partnership with Canva, alongside Amazon Web Services, Google, Datacom, and Inc, to launch a free upskilling platform designed to support women needing to make the unexpected transition from one career to another. Within 24 hours of launching, more than 350 women had signed up.

The course is seen by women as offering a training with practical relevance. Tech roles have been the province of males rather than females, but businesses may offer a variety of different roles within a tech company – not all require a worker to be tech savvy.  Tech companies also look for employees with resilience, agility, social and practical skills.

Women have personally struggled to ‘sell themselves’ to an employer. ShePivots focusses on developing resilience and assists workers to plan a career path, to identify their strengths and to take control of their own professional narrative,’.

As Liu comments ‘That’s a really timeless skillset, particularly important right now’.

Pivotal to this support for women is the incorporating of networking skills and becoming digitally competent to assist connecting with others. This is particularly important during the COVID-19 pandemic and the new norm will include these important skills.

Workplaces will require more flexiblity post COVID-19. The ideal for businesses is to have both an office which employees can work from when collaborating with colleagues, and the flexibility to work from home when an employee finds that a more productive environment. 

A flexible working environment could mean workplaces would be more accommodating to women, especially those with children.

As Liu says in a final comment ‘True flexibility is having a choice’.

This article has been prepared by WR Law. The information provided should not be relied upon as legal advice. You should speak with Rosa Raco directly about your specific circumstances via email rraco@wrlaw.com.au or phone 03 54996131

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