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The Double-Double Shift: Supporting Women’s Performance Management During a Pandemic

June 25, 2020

As leaders, we want to create an environment in which people who work with us have equal opportunities to advance. The problem: Collectively, we’re failing. Men and women enter the workforce with similar qualifications but have vastly different experiences of promotion and compensation. Our recent deepdive research shows that, while effective performance management (PM) can be critical to helping address this systemic inequality, most organizations still struggle to create an equitable experience.

That was the case in the best of times. We are, clearly, no longer in those times.

The current global pandemic is throwing an unforgiving light on the problem of inequality in the workplace. Research by leanin.org has found that, so far, more than one-third of women in the U.S. have experienced a major disruption to their income because of the pandemic, including being laid off, furloughed, receiving a pay cut, or having their hours reduced. This is even worse for women of color: Black women are twice as likely as white women to report one of these setbacks.

Not only are women bearing the brunt of the pandemic in the workplace – they are doing it at home, too. Recent data show some women are taking on at least 20 hours per week of extra work during lockdown, the equivalent of a part-time job.

We hope this report, created in collaboration with our friends at RedThread Research, provides you with some thought-provoking questions and ideas to consider as you design your strategies for how to effectively manage through the next few weeks, months, and year(s).

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