How Women in Leadership Have been Affected by the Global Pandemic

In business and politics, leaders around the world have spent the past year facing a real-time leadership test due to the global pandemic. And, while the global pandemic has certainly reshaped the way organizations operate, it also, more specifically, has reshaped the notions of women in leadership roles.

Numerous studies have shown that women-led countries tended to have managed the COVID-19 crisis better, and from a business standpoint, studies have shown that women have excelled more as leaders in this new working environment as they foster a better virtual experience for their remote teams.

That said, on the other side of the spectrum, studies have also shown that advancements in gender equality across the globe risk being derailed by the COVID-19 pandemic, in due part to the pandemic forcing millions of women to reconsider how to balance their professional and home lives.

So, to better understand how the global pandemic has affected the female business leader in Canada, we partnered with Elaine Zapotoczny (Owner at Ascent Coaching and Consulting), Sonia Edmonds (National Managing Partner at BDO Canada), and Vince John (Senior Manager of Human Resources at TD Bank), for a live panel discussion moderated by Kristin Condon (CCO at Sales Talent Agency).


A few of our top takeaways from the session include:

5:26 Organizations need to have a proactive approach to understanding how women and women in leadership roles have been impacted by the pandemic. First, an organization should acknowledge the problems/challenges that the pandemic has created for women and then create a purposeful action plan to help alleviate them.

18:50 We have lost decades of work, whereas advancements in gender equality have been derailed by the COVID-19 pandemic. However, in the midst of disruption, female leaders can reshape this by working to rebuild something better, something that breaks the barriers still being caused by systemic bias.

26:58 It is no secret that the pandemic has had many adverse effects on women. That said, female leaders have excelled in their ability to be inclusive and to inspire their teams to be successful. This, in turn, has attracted much attention and praise to female leadership abilities throughout the pandemic.

42:59 When looking to implement strategies to help female employees and leaders overcome the challenges caused by the global pandemic, organizations need to be flexible and purposeful in their execution. For example, organizations can re-evaluate the flexibility of their working hours to help alleviate some of the challenges female employees face balancing their work and home lives.

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