Forget a “Return to Normal”

Nov 14, 2022

Submitted by Eva Martinez and Silvia Bianchi

Recently, Colleen Ammerman and Boris Groysberg reviewed statistical data from 2018 that indicated women’s well-being in the workplace was suffering even back then. In the last two years, COVID has only exacerbated the problem and while there is a push to “return to normal” the authors summarized their analysis in this article, effectively concluding that women can’t go back to the pre-pandemic status quo. And their observations likely resonate with many of you. For example:

  • Remote work has come with costs.
  • Younger workers have struggled to establish critical workplace relationships.
  • The ability to work at anytime has turned into working all the time.

They argue that turning back the clock isn’t the answer. Looking at how people really felt pre-pandemic makes clear that a return to the status quo is untenable. To build diverse pipelines to leadership, companies need a reset to update their processes to mitigate or prevent the gender and racial inequities that can add stress and strain to workers’ experiences.

“Together, managers, and leaders can foster workplaces and create systems that don’t lead to burnout and worsening well-being. As a result, they can build a lasting leadership pipeline that reaps the benefits of a diverse workforce and engaged employees. To make the workplace work for everyone, let’s leave “normal” in the past and create a future far brighter.”

To read more about how companies can debias their people management systems and drive cultural changes, check out the authors’ recent book – Glass Half-Broken: Shattering the Barriers That Still Hold Women Back at Work.