While the long-term impact of COVID-19 and the associated economic fallout has yet to be fully seen, the record number of individuals furloughed and unemployed have found ample time to self-reflect. It seems many are finding this unprecedented experience an opportune time to make change.
Women have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic overall, given that they are both more likely to be essential workers and to be impacted by the compounded stress of home and family life shifting so rapidly. However, women have also been displayed unique resilience throughout the year. (It’s worth mentioning that countries with female leaders fared better through the pandemic overall.)
The depth of that resiliency, however, may be better illustrated by personal trends. According to a new survey from the professional women’s network AllBright, women are emerging from these unprecedented times with a career shift on their minds. 1 in 4 are setting up their own business going forward, and over 60 percent are planning a complete pivot altogether.
The survey found the following:
- One fourth of women surveyed are setting up a new business.
- The sectors with the most growth are “health and fitness” and “publishing” for these new business owners.
- Over 61 percent of these women are planning a career pivot.
- Half of women surveyed believe that COVID has provided new professional opportunities for them in the long-term.
“It’s heartening to see the crisis act as a catalyst for positive change with so many women defying the negative headlines of the last few months, by making moves to set up their own businesses, pivoting their careers, and remaining optimistic about the future,” Anna Jones, the co-founder of AllBright, noted in a statement.
“The findings from our survey of over 800 members highlighted that many women are using their renewed sense of perspective and resilience ensure the experience of the last few months doesn’t set them back, and as an organisation we are helping them do this.”
“Entrepreneurs often see challenges as problems to be solved, and this innovative thinking has come to the forefront over the past months, with one in four of our members deciding to seize the moment and set up their own business,” Debbie Wosskow, the other co-founder of the group added.
“For those already running and scaling a business, the situation still remains tough,” she continued, noting the discrepancies between female-owned startups even as late as 2019. “It is vital that the funding gap doesn’t widen as a result of the crisis and undo years of progress towards gender equality.”