How Companies Can Make Workplaces Work for Moms
Reshma Saujani is founder of the nonprofit Girls Who Code and the Marshall Plan for Moms (on which McKinsey has served as a knowledge partner), a campaign to center mothers in America’s economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. In a recent edition of McKinsey’s Author Talks, Saujani discusses her latest book, Pay Up: The Future of Women and Work (and Why It’s Different Than You Think). Here are three points from an ardent discussion.
Women—particularly working moms—are not OK. In Canada and the US, one out of three working women are thinking about leaving the workforce or downshifting their careers. Sixty percent of moms in the US say that the pandemic has negatively affected their mental health. (That’s compared with less than half of dads.) And American women are still down over one million jobs since the start of the pandemic.
As Saujani puts it, “This isn’t just a pandemic story. For far too long, we have been juggling too much. We were sold a big corporate lie: that we could ‘girl boss’ and ‘lean in’ our way to the top. We have always participated in a workforce that’s not only not built for us but also has been stacked against us. I think moms are tired. I think we’re burned out. I think we’re angry.”