Among the many long-lasting impacts of the pandemic has been a fundamental change in women in the workplace: Where they work, when they work, and complex new challenges of balancing work and home life, but also new opportunities as well.
Tracking these changes has always been a goal of our annual Women’s Leadership Summit and related surveys, and the shift over the last two years has been significant. Perhaps most importantly, we’ve seen women leave the workforce in droves, as they often became the primary caregivers in their households and struggled with competing professional and personal demands.
But the ones who chose to stay in the workforce learned valuable lessons. Women in leadership shifted their management approach while taking on more responsibilities—ultimately improving performance and driving engagement, even during a time of disruption.
To find out more about how leadership has evolved following the pandemic, we spoke with participants of our past Women’s Leadership Summit, including executives from major organizations, who shared their insights about management and corporate culture with us. And to get an inside look at how women are rethinking leadership practices, we interviewed Kelly Reavis, director of strategic initiatives at DuPont, as part of our related Reaction Magazine publication.
Broadly, we found there were three key traits all resilient leaders developed during the pandemic: optimism, adaptability and agility, as outlined in our report, Advancing the Future of Women in Business.
Sets the tone for their team during a crisis
Helps adjust to unexpected obstacles facing their team
Needed to face ongoing challenges