One Quarter of Czech Women Considering Leaving The Labour Market
Such an exodus of women from the productive workforce would significantly weaken the Czech labour market. Credit: Freepik.
Brno, Aug. 8 (BD) – Two years of pandemic have changed the perspective of many women on their careers. According to a study published by the McKinsey Global Institute, 25% of working women have considered quitting their jobs and leaving the labour market. The demanding task of balancing personal and working lives during the pandemic often led to extreme exhaustion and in many cases even burnout. According to professional services company Colliers, employers can prevent female staff leaving their careers by adapting the working environment and conditions or by investing in the employee’s reskilling.
An exodus of women would have severe consequences
The Czech labour market is experiencing a long-term shortage of applicants, across almost all sectors. The current unemployment rate is 3.1%, which is the lowest in the European Union according to the latest available data from Eurostat. At the end of June, employers were offering a total of 319,408 job vacancies through the Czech labour office, with an average of 0.7 job seekers per job vacancy. The demand for workers thus still exceeds the supply, and the departure of a large number of women from the Czech labour market would be fatal. There are currently almost 3,100,000 women of working age in the Czech Republic; losing a quarter of them would mean 775,000 women.
Retraining as a possible solution
According to Colliers, employers can help avoid this eventuality by investing heavily in retraining courses and adjusting working conditions. Thanks to digitization and new technology, many of the new jobs being created allow greater flexibility, remote access, and better balance of personal and working lives. These positions could provide an opportunity for the women who are now considering leaving the workforce. “Companies are switching to digital processes at a fast pace and within the framework of ESG rules,” said Jana Vlková, Director of Workplace Advisory at Colliers. “Among other things, they are pushing for maximum paperless and automated operations that utilise the potential of digital solutions. As a part of this transformation, it is also necessary to evaluate what can be offered to people in positions that will no longer be needed, and how to reskill them within the company.”
As part of this process, companies should also adapt their offices for training activities and provide space for effective staff development. According to Vlková, the experience of the pandemic for many employers was that online distance training is less effective, and the face-to-face transfer of information, experience, and knowledge is more suitable for employees. She added that it is important for firms to adjust their operations and equipment to allow not only standard individual work, but also meetings in smaller and larger teams, with facilities available that can make the most of new technologies.
While many companies have adopted increased remote working as a post-pandemic business model, Vlková emphasises that those who continue with office-based working need to rethink the working environment to remain attractive to staff. “New functions, layouts, and room modifications are more attractive for companies and employees, who will then return to work more easily after the pandemic,” she concludes.