The role of women leaders has widened in the post-pandemic world. If women were juggling five things at a time earlier, now in a post pandemic world, they are juggling more. For women in leadership position, it is another story all together. Work from home has blurred lines and boundaries between personal and professional space making women leaders rethink their priorities once again.
Some have found the pandemic to be a boon as they experienced more time at hand to do things both professionally as well as personally, while some couldn’t deal with the stress and opted out. These statistics are well articulated in the recent UN women study, which reflects how women are grappling with the new situation and struggling to keep at pace.
However, for women who are in leadership positions, the pandemic has shown that they have been extremely successful in dealing with the most unprecedented situations that we were faced with. The few women world leaders have come up trumps on being able to handle the situation with a calm, balanced and collected approach leading from the front with empathy. One such leader who inspires me is the New Zealand’s Prime Minister, the first country to declare itself as Covid-free.
Covid-19 led to a rapid transition to digital, an uncertain economic landscape, charting unknown waters and working from home with no modes of the usual contacts. Taking cue from our colleagues in China, who went through this situation before we did, we were quick to respond and have used technology effectively, enabling our workforce to operate from their homes. We had a detailed business continuity plan in place and have virtually connected on a regular basis, to monitor progress.
Having said that, change is always slightly uncomfortable, and given we are all now working from home, the challenge was getting teams to get accustomed to this. We had to rethink client implementation strategies, execute new and innovative ways to communicate, and focus on content and message, now more than ever. I connected more, deeply and humanly. I think the team got to see a lot more of their CEO and I aim to keep that momentum running through 2021.
Living through a pandemic and the new normal of working from home can be stressful and exhausting. I make sure to stay mentally, physically and emotionally engaged to maintain that balance. Music, yoga and cooking were my destress and balancing mantra.
Multiple studies have shown how women leaders performed better during the Covid-19 crisis. According to me, women are gifted leaders, efficient team players, and can multitask effortlessly. Whether managing the home, taking care of their children or running businesses, women can do it all with ease. We pay attention to the details and these qualities help us navigate through a crisis successfully. Most importantly it’s our ability to be empathetic through every challenge.
- Never be afraid to challenge the status quo.
- Keep learning new skills to stay relevant.
- Stay confident and have faith in your ability to make a difference.
- Never give up, you are always closer to your goals than you think.
Valerie Pinto of Weber Shandwick shares key insights and her experiences about the impact of pandemic on women leaders and how they manage it.