Women feel less safe in the workplace than men as COVID restrictions lift

Survey data shows women have more concerns returning to work post-lockdown.

As COVID restrictions are gradually lifted and more UK businesses start trading again, global data looking at the readiness of employees to return to work shows that women are consistently more concerned about safety matters in the post-lockdown workplace than men. 

Culture Amp, a people and culture platform, conducted a global ‘Prepare for Returning to the Workplace’ survey of over 31,000 employees between 5th May and 1st June 2020. It’s people scientists found an average 10-point difference between men and women on responses to questions about workplace safety post-lockdown.

For example, 56% of women compared to 46% of men would like their company to implement more safety measures as they return to work. 

Women are also more concerned about the availability of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), such as facemasks or hand sanitizer, with 86% expressing a desire to access PPE when they return to the workplace compared to 77% of men. 

The data goes on to show that 45% of men would feel safe using their company’s workplace facilities such as the gym, cafeteria or other social areas while only 36% of women agreed. 

The safety concerns also extend beyond the workplace, with 32% of women stating that they would feel safe travelling to the workplace when the COVID-19 restrictions lift compared to 43% of men. 

Other key findings: 

  • 31% of women agreed that they will feel safe being in the workplace when the COVID restrictions lift versus 39% of men
  • Over half of the men questioned (52%) are looking forward to returning to the workplace compared to 44% of women
  • More women (79%) than men (75%) know how to access the company’s employee support programme. 

Commenting on the findings, Jess Brook, lead people scientist at Culture Amp says: “Women have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19, especially when it comes to childcare duties, job losses and healthcare – it’s no surprise that as we look to what the future may hold, women are more likely to prepare themselves for a ‘worst-case scenario’.

“The findings should serve as a stark reminder to business leaders about the very real concerns that employees have about emerging from lockdown and what ‘new normal’ they’ll discover when they do. It also reminds us that these concerns aren’t blanket across employees.”


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