Is Life Getting in the Way of Volunteering?
It’s been quite a bumpy road to recovery in the post-pandemic economy, and many argue we’re not out of the economic fallout yet. However, we’re hearing a lot about how the labor force in some sectors is recovering, how folks are returning to the office, and how life is gradually transitioning into a new routine. But is this true for all of us?
It turns out that for men, the above is mainly true, but not for women. Did you know that over one million women have left the workforce since the pandemic began? Women collectively cite the wage gap, burnout, the childcare crisis, and the lack of advancement opportunities typically available (especially BIPOC women) as the cause for their exit and failure to return to work. And when they do return, the issues that made them leave in the first place remain. As we adapt to this new reality, the lines between work and the rest of our human selves have begun to blur. This is where an opportunity for engagement in the workplace sits. Many workplace environments offer the opportunity to engage outside their personal circle, providing opportunities for Transformative volunteering experiences that offer a chance for a mindset shift, creating more of an “us” instead of a “them.” This sense of community building significantly impacts employee engagement success.
We aren’t entirely returning to a pre-pandemic work environment – we need to ensure that we’re working hard to establish gender equality, creating space for the voices of women, especially those of color, at the leadership table. We can start by reimagining the role we place on gender, caregivers, and marginalized voices in our volunteer leader programs. By considering all the elements that construct the human experience, providing flexibility in volunteer programming, and meeting volunteers where they are on their volunteer journey, you will continue to future-proof your volunteer engagement programs and company.