Dentsu APAC have shared an internal video celebrating the women in their company who have taken on additional burdens – including childcare and housework – since the beginning of the pandemic.
The concept of the ‘double burden’ is not a new one. Frequently cited by feminist writers from the twentieth century to the present, it refers to the specific struggles faced by working women where essentially, they perform a far higher proportion of unpaid labour than men.
That expectation has become strikingly apparent during the pandemic. UN Women found that overwhelmingly, women were bearing a greater burden than men in terms of unpaid labour, particularly around the house.
Cooking and serving meals by women has increased by 32 per cent and cleaning has increased by 45 per cent. 64 per cent of parents noted a higher involvement of their daughters in household tasks, as opposed to 57 per cent who noted their sons getting involved.
A photo essay by the NYTimes recently gained traction on social media when it depicted three mothers struggling while working from home. One woman said of her husband, “he gets to lock himself in his office all day while I’m expected to entertain [my daughter] and make breakfast for everyone. Why can’t he do it? Why am I expected to do it all?”
These themes are powerfully presented in a video by dentsu APAC, which was originally released on International Women’s Day. It depicts a number of dentsu’s female employees, giving viewers a visual insight into the highs and lows of being a woman working from home.
The video then outlines a number of initaitives, known as the ‘Help At Home’ program, taken on by dentsu to help out their women workers.
These initiatives include Wellness Wednesdays, Saturday Breakfasts and a ChoreShare Calendar.
In an interview with Muse by Clio, Merlee Jayme – global president at dentsuMcgarrybowen and head of diversity and inclusion for Dentsu APAC – spoke about the importance of diversity and inclusion, and the video specifically.
“Back-to-back meetings make it even more difficult for single women to take care of themselves, keep their spaces clean, or help parents with chores.”
“Married women and moms have the burden of making three meals a day for the family, washing dishes, tutoring kids, and more. The situation has taken a heavy toll on the daily lives of women. In fact, their question today is, how can we now grow our careers?“
“Creating awareness for this was just half of the story. I wanted the network to take notice, see our women, understand their plight, and come up with real action to help lighten the load.”
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