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The One Thing Every Woman Wants More Of, Post-Pandemic

In partnership with The Harris Poll, M.M.LaFleur surveyed 800 women to learn how the pandemic has changed the trajectory of their lives. What we discovered was that the majority of women across age, race, and professional demographics are all desperate for the same thing: time.

By The M.M.LaFleur Team

November 7, 2021

The Covid-19 pandemic transformed our lives in so many ways. For women especially, it had a domino effect; one piece of their lives was flipped upside down, causing so many other pieces to fall with it. Home became the office, the school, and for many women, their entire universe. Our professional lives blurred with our personal lives in ways both good and bad, and though some women had the mental and physical space to explore new hobbies or passions, others experienced a new kind of burnout instead. 

Now, over 19 months later, we want to know where women stand and where they want to go from here. That’s why, in partnership with The Harris Poll, M.M.LaFleur surveyed 800 professional women, ages 30-50, to find out how they’re reenvisioning their lives today. And while we saw familiar responses that have existed since long before 2020—a desire for better work-life balance, for example—there was also a new awareness of the ticking clock. Over 92% of women surveyed reported that the pandemic taught them that time is too precious to waste on things, people, and careers that do not serve them. To that end, they are looking at their lives not with resignation, but with a renewed sense of urgency and purpose.  

Over the coming months, we’ll be exploring these findings through events, storytelling, and community in what we’re calling our Great Renewal Series.

Learn More in Our Three-Part Event Series

The Great Renewal Series

Using these findings, plus key insights from McKinsey’s Women in the Workplace Report, these events will examine how individuals and organizations can rewrite the rules and work toward a more fulfilling, balanced, and equitable world.

Participant Demographics

The Pandemic Created an Opportunity for Women to Reflect, Reimagine, and Recommit to What Matters

“People need to advocate for their communities and become better global citizens. I have always been politically active and socially aware, but times like these made me even more aware of the choices I make day-to-day.”
– 50, Banking/Finance

“I realized that I had been prioritizing the wrong friendships and have worked hard to fill my life with better, like-minded people.”
– 43, Non-Profit

The Pandemic Created an Opportunity to Figure Out What Really Matters

How much do you agree with the following statements? The pandemic made me…

For Many Women, Family and Health Became More Important Than Work

Would you say each of the following has become more or less of a priority as a result of the pandemic than it was prior?

Women Spent More Time with Family, But That Doesn’t Mean They Were Having Fun

How much time would you say you spent on each of the following now compared to before the pandemic?

The Pandemic Inspired Many Women to Focus More on Their Mental and Physical Health, and for Some, Their Appearance

Did the pandemic inspire you to do any of the following that you would not have done before? Please select all that apply.

Looking Ahead, Family, Wellness, and Travel Are Top Personal Priorities

In the next 12 months, when thinking about your personal life what are your top priorities? 

Looking Outside Themselves, Women Are Now More Concerned About Issues like Mental Health, Cost of Living, and Healthcare

Have you become more or less concerned about the following topics due to the pandemic?

The Pandemic Gave Women Time to Figure Out What Really Matters

In what ways, if any, did you experience any silver linings during the pandemic when it comes to your career/job?

“It made me realize that doing something for work that you are passionate about and allows you to be your authentic self is more important than money/salary.”
– 46, Sales

“The pandemic gave me back something I was running out of, time.  Was so fast paced, constantly moving not taking the appreciate the small things or pursue my passions.  I was able to breathe and stop worrying about the clock and just live.”
– 40, Banking/Finance

“The silver lining is that I realized I work to live and not the other way around.”
– 39, Retail

The Pandemic Shifted the Importance of Work

How has the pandemic changed how you think about your career? Please select all that apply.

Most Women are Content in Their Current Job, but ⅓ Might Move On Soon

How would you describe your attitude to your current job/position?

When, if at all, do you think you will be on the job hunt? 

In Their Next Job, Women Aren’t Just Looking for Money (Though They Do Want More of It)

Which of the following, if any, are reasons why you want to find a new or different type of job? Please select all that apply.

Along with Money, Women are Eager for Better Work-Life Balance

In the next 12 months, when thinking about your professional life what are your top priorities?

Burnout Is the Main Reason Women Feel They Can’t Achieve Their Goals

What, if anything, is stopping you from achieving your goals? Please select all that apply.

More Than Anything, Women Need a Healthy Work-Life Balance and Personal Time to Achieve Success

What, if anything, is helping or would help you achieve your goals? Please select all that apply.

For Women to Succeed, Companies Must Invest in Better Leave Policies, as Well as Fair Pay

What would you most like employers to do to help women achieve more in the workplace?

“Have a plan for work life balance.”
– 40, Technology

“There has to be a total shift in how women are seen in regard to their male counterparts.  Too often, there is still an imbalance in the advantages and ways to get ahead for men that are not the same for women.”
– 48, Education

“Ensuring equal pay for equal work. That is the number one top priority.”
– 46, Education

“Have a better maternity leave policy. It would allow new moms to take care of themselves and appreciate the company for taking care of them. It would make them more loyal and productive when they return to work.”
– 39, Retail

Personal Style Wasn’t a Big Priority During the Pandemic, But Women are Looking Forward to Getting Dressed Up Again

How important would you say your style / physical presentation is, was, and will be to you being successful at work…?

Women Want Their Wardrobes to Reflect Who They Really Are

When thinking about your personal style over the next 12 months, what do you imagine you’ll be more or less interested in?

Professional Women Embraced Casual Clothing During the Pandemic, But Know There’s Still Value in Dressing Up

When thinking about your personal style over the next 12 months, what do you imagine you’ll be more or less interested in? 

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