WEATHERING THE PANDEMIC— AND WORKING TOGETHER FOR A BRIGHT TOMORROW The “She-cession” and Its Impact on Women in Communications Winter 2021-2022
FOREWORD New York Women in Communications (NYWICI) is committed to empowering women in the communications field at every career stage to reach their full power and potential. For 51 years, NYWICI has broken down barriers for women. Our mission is to increase representation and support women at all levels— from senior executives to students and entrepreneurs to young professionals in a variety of communications disciplines, including journalism, broadcasting, corporate communications, digital, publishing, advertising, integrated marketing, photography, public relations, graphic design, and more. We can all agree that we are living in a time of unprecedented disruptions. Looking back to March 2020, who would have imagined what the following months would have in store? Suddenly, we had to adapt to a whole new way of working and living, and we experienced firsthand how tough some of those challenges were—especially for women. As these new circumstances were forced upon us, we rolled up our sleeves, tuned into our community and searched for ways for NYWICI to make an impact. Along with our research partners ENGINE and FCB and research contributors Bloomberg Media and Meredith Corporation, recently acquired by Dotdash, NYWICI launched the WomenHeard initiative—to address the dramatic departure of women from the workplace due to COVID-19.
of all workers over the age of 20 who left the workforce in January 2021 were women
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
A staggering 80% of all workers over the age of 20 who left the workforce in January 2021 were women, and women of color have been disproportionately impacted. NYWICI is looking at the communications industry, going deep to understand the “why” around this issue and how businesses can better grow and retain diverse talent going forward. We know that together we can do hard things. With a bold vision, a winning action plan, and an optimistic view of the future, we can make extraordinary leaps forward. Supporting women in a professional capacity is mission critical in unlocking joy and a wealth of growth opportunities for all. —New York Women in Communications
INTRODUCTION It is no exaggeration to say the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted virtually all aspects of the lives of everyone on the planet. From the time the first U.S. cases were reported in January 2020, a shift that began as a gradual slope of change has become, for many, a head-over-heels tumble into a radically evolved way of life.
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE THINGS THAT NOW LOOK DIFFERENT FOR SO MANY OF US? Seemingly, the world has changed over the course of the past two years—everything from how we stay connected to the people we love, how we shop—and even the way we work. Many have found lifelines on their phones, computers, and digital tablets, via Facebook, FaceTime, Zoom, etc. And this breakneck uptick of new digital behaviors has certainly changed the way we’ve adopted online commerce. Prior to the pandemic, online retail was a long-coming revolution, slowly but surely gaining a strong foothold with consumers. And, then, to the topic we will explore in this paper, there’s the way we work. This has perhaps been the most dramatic shift of all. It’s a shift that has been felt most sorely within underrepresented groups— among them minorities, people of color, and women. Unfortunately, these groups have been more greatly impacted in more negative ways due to many disparate factors.
TABLE OF CONTENTS Foreword..................2 Introduction.............3 Communications Down.........................5 Women More Impacted..................7 Parenting Through Peril........ 10 Mental Health Challenges............. 12 The Way We Work................. 15
PROPRIETARY RESEARCH FOR THIS PAPER NYWICI commissioned a U.S. survey of women and men in communications fielded by FCB and its research partner ENGINE. Meredith contributed nationwide research on the impact of COVID-19 on women in the workforce. Bloomberg Media contributed nationwide research on the media conversation around how the pandemic has affected women in the workforce.
Looking Forward.................. 18 Credits.................... 23
WOMENHEARD SURVEY FOCUS
Because the statistics being posted every day in the news were staggering, New York Women in Communications (NYWICI) commissioned FCB and its research partner ENGINE to field a national research study to uncover the extent of the mental, familial, and financial impacts of COVID-19 on women in the communications field and to get a better understanding of how and why they are occurring. Bloomberg Media and Meredith each supplemented the industry survey with their own proprietary, nationwide research on COVID-19’s impact on women in the workforce. In our findings, we identified five themes that merited a closer look. These were: how the pandemic has impacted the communications industry overall, how it has been experienced by women in communications (WIC), what it has meant for parenting, how it has affected mental health, and how it has changed the way we work. We talked to NYWICI members and partners to help us do the important work of envisioning a path forward—for guidance on what’s worked and ideas for best practices, both at the individual and corporate levels.
Work & Finance
Home & Family
3 Key Audiences
General Population, and Women and Men in Communications
THE “SHE-CESSION” According to BloombergAiQ, Bloomberg’s proprietary data analysis tool powered by AI that analyzes 30k+ publishers globally to identify media trends, mentions of “she-cession” reached an all-time high roughly one year into the pandemic, in early March 2021. Discussion has continued, but to a lesser degree, in recent months.
COMMUNICATIONS DOWN 2x THE JOB LOSSES
Compared to the general work population, those in the communications field have been almost two times as likely to have lost their job, been furloughed, or experienced a pay reduction during the COVID-19 pandemic. Source: NYWICI #womenheard survey
COMMUNICATIONS CONUNDRUM The communications industry has been more adversely affected than the general population.
Communications industry is being hit harder than general population; Almost 2X During the pandemic, unemployment levels rose exponentially for the Communications U.S. industry is being hit harder thanwere general population; Almost 2X or more employees in communication industry either laid off,infurloughed receive Almost were 2X more employees the employees in communication either laid off, furloughed or received reduced pandemic vs.industry general population population overall. In fact, in the crisis’s first months, the U.S. job market took during A higher percentage of general minority groups experienced negative joblaid impact communications industry were either off, during pandemic vs. population a wallop greater than the hit it took during the entire Great Recession of 2007furloughed, or received reduced pay during 2009.1 Pew Research compares the unemployment rate during the pandemic pandemic vs. general population to the nadir of our modern era—the Great Depression of the 1920s-1930s.2 WIC+MIC WIC+MIC
Laid off, furloughed, reduced pay during pandemic 36%
IN COMMUNICATIONS Our WomenHeard survey found that compared to the 36% WIC MIC Gen Pop general work population, those in the communications field have been almost 21% 40% two times as likely to have lost their job, been furloughed, or experienced a pay 38% 21% reduction during the COVID-19 pandemic. Among women in communications 33% 30% (WIC), one in five lost their job, were furloughed, or experienced a pay 26% Laid off, furloughed, reduced pay during pandemic reduction—but, perhaps surprisingly, men in communications (MIC) were 21% Laid off, furloughed, reduced pay during pandemic 20% impacted even more: One in four saw a negative job impact. HispanicAor higher A higher percentage percentage of of minority minority groups groups experienced experienced negative negative job job impact impact groups A higher percentage of minority Latinx workers in communications have been particularly impacted.
Q: (WF1) How was your job impacted over the course of the last year (2020 through now)? Please select all that apply experienced negative job impact Q: (WF1) How was your job impacted over the course of the last year (2020 through now)? Please select all that apply. 1 Laid off, furloughed, reduced pay during pandemic W h i t e / Ca u c as ia n
“When the pandemic hit, all eyes turned to the comms team to figure out what to say both internally and externally. … But there was no playbook for this. Then social unrest rocked the U.S. and now thinned-out comms teams had to make sense of it all.”
Laid Laid off,off, furloughed, furloughed, reduced reduced paypay during during pandemic pandemic A f ri c an A m er ic a n / B l ac k / Ca ri b b ean Am eri c a n
O the rs ( AAPI , Hi sp a ni c Am eri c a n I nd i an o r Al as 50% 50%
WICMICMICGenGen WIC PopPop 40% 40%
Q: (CB3) Are you Hispanic or Latin[o/a/x]? 33% Q: (CB4) What is 33% your racial identity? 30% 30% 26% Q: (WF1) How was your job impacted over 26% the course of the last year (2020 through now)? Please 21%21%
—GEORGIA GALANOUDIS, Chief Experience Officer, HIMSS | 2021-2022 NYWICI President-Elect WhiW te /hC i taeu /c Caasuia ca ns ia n
Af ri cAafn ri cAam n eArm icaen r i/cBalna/cB kl/aCcakr/iC ba breia bn b ean Am eArm i caen ri c a n
Q: (CB3) Q: (CB3) AreAre youyou Hispanic Hispanic or Latin[o/a/x]? or Latin[o/a/x]? Q: (CB4) Q: (CB4) What What is your is your racial racial identity? identity?
O the Ortsh(eA rsA(PAI,AHPi sI,pHainsipcaonricLo atrin L[aot i/na[/ox/]a, /x], Am eArm i caen ri cInad ni a Inndoi arnAol ar sA ka lasNkaatiN ve a,tiveet c , . )et c. )
Source: NYWICI #womenheard survey
WOMEN MORE IMPACTED 1.3x LESS SUPPORT
During the pandemic, women in communications were 1.3 times more likely to not receive any support from employers versus men in communications. Source: NYWICI #womenheard survey
WOMEN ON THE BRINK Women are disproportionately affected—and need more support, both at home and in the office.
In September 2020 alone, 865,000 women left the workforce—four times as many women as men. In the following month, 480,000 women rejoined the labor force, but compared to a year prior, in October 2019, nearly 3 million women had left the job market entirely.3 One factor behind this movement is that the “invisible work” women are expected to take on at home has intensified since the pandemic, leaving many feeling as though they can’t take on anything more—even if it’s paid work outside the home. Black and Latina women working in retail, restaurants, and other “essential” service-sector industries, often for very low pay, have been laid off in disproportionate numbers. Additionally, we have seen high job loss in “contact-intensive” industries such as leisure and hospitality, education and health services, and retail, which are disproportionately filled by people of color.4 1 i n 5 wo m e n i n t h e c o m m u n i c a t i o n s i n d u s t r y l o s t j o b s o r g o t furlou gh ed durin g COVID Were either laid off Were either laid off or furloughed or furloughed
1 in 5 women in the communications industry lost jobs or got furloughed during COVID
Received no support Received no support from their employers from their employers 26% 20%
Q: (WF 1 ) How was your job impacted over the cour se of the last year (2020 thr ough now)? P lease select all that apply. Q: (WF 7) What wer e your r eason(s) f or leaving your pr ior job? Source: NYWICI Q: (WF 1 3) What kind of suppor t did you r eceive/ar e you r eceiving f r om your employer over the cour se of the last year (2020 thr ough now)?
#womenheard survey 17
WOMEN ON THE BRINK IN COMMUNICATIONS Our study found that WIC feel that they need more support from employers. Even WIC who kept their jobs were two times more likely to not be receiving any support compared to MIC. During the pandemic, WIC were 1.3 times more likely to not receive any support from employers versus MIC. The gap is even greater between moms and dads in the communications industry, at 1.9 times. The types of support that employees in communications need include longer maternity leave, mental health support, better benefits (e.g., longer parental leave), and a better management team.
As female leaders, we tend
Additionally, our study revealed that in communications, a higher percentage of women of color experienced negative job impacts. Within that group, Hispanic WIC were laid off, furloughed, or faced a reduction in pay 1.4 times more often than Black or Asian WIC.
and know what their current
to operate and have a much greater emotional IQ in the sense of getting a real read on what your teams need. I think you really need to spend quality time with your teams at the individual level conditions are. As women, we’re the caregivers and it’s embedded in
the psyche.” In November 2020,2Meredith Consumer 6% of W IC did nPulse ot reTracker: ceive aCOVID-19 ny su pport durin g COVID compared —KIMBERLY PAIGE, EVP, noted one in three tworking surveyed by Meredith have o 2 0% moms of MIC CMO, BET Networks (a subsidiary 6% change of WIC during did nothe t repandemic ceive any su pport du ring C OVID compared experienced or considered a2job of Viacom Inc.) | NYWICI Chief to 2 0 % o f M I C Officer enough with one in four driven• by5 6 a% desire to scale their hours. of WIC who back didn’t receive any support or think Communications the support wasn’t
41impact % of them said it wasn’t enough • Even for WIC who did receive support, A higher percentage negative • 5 6of%minority of WICgroups who experienced didn’t receive anyjob support or think the support wasn’t enough • Even for WIC who did receive support, 41% of them said it wasn’t enough
WIC who think the WIC whowas think the support enough WIC who think the support wasnot enough support was enough (Yes/No)
Different types of support provided by the employers
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PARENTING THROUGH PERIL 1.5x HARDER BALANCE
Moms in communications are 1.5 times more likely to experience harder work-life balance versus WIC who aren’t parents. Source: NYWICI #womenheard survey
ON THE SHOULDERS OF MOTHERS The pandemic has only added to the many challenges of raising a family.
The crippling burden of childcare and remote learning has fallen much more heavily on mothers than on fathers, leading many women to stop working or even looking for work. In January 2021, about 10 million U.S. mothers living with school-age children were not working—that’s 1.4 million more than just a year earlier, in January 2020.5 One factor is the closings of schools and daycare centers, which put heavy childcare needs on families—and particularly women. A survey from May and June 2021 revealed that one out of four women who became unemployed during the pandemic reported the job loss was due to a lack of childcare—twice the rate of men surveyed.6 The losses haven’t slowed: Between February and August 2021, mothers of children 12 years old and younger lost 2.2 million jobs compared to 870,000 jobs lost among fathers.7
IN COMMUNICATIONS For communications professionals, mental health support is key for the job satisfaction of parents, particularly moms. Moms in communications are 1.5 times more likely to experience harder work-life balance versus WIC who aren’t parents. Mental health support from WIC parents were 2x more likely to receive no employer support vs. an employer is expected 28% more by moms in communication than general WIC and 31% more MIC parents by MIC who are parents versus MIC who aren’t. Support received from the employer
WIC parents were 2x more likely to receive no employer support vs. MIC parents
Additional days off to support social movements
WIC Parent Expense for remote work
I received support from my employer
73 % 18%
Technology support for remote work
Source: Bloomberg Media AiQ
Childcare is a leading issue in the “women in the workforce” media conversation. Over the last year, globally, in coverage of “workforce AND women,” 13,293 articles were found, and “childcare” appeared in 25%. For “workforce AND men,” there were just 1,420 articles, with childcare mentioned in just 17%. This reflects the idea that women are tasked with a greater portion of “invisible work” such as childcare.
Source: NYWICI #womenheard survey
MENTAL HEALTH CHALLENGES 60% FEEL UNEASY
More than 60% of communications professionals experienced negative emotional impacts from the pandemic—they reported feeling either “just all right” or “pessimistic.” Source: NYWICI #womenheard survey
MINDING OUR MENTAL HEALTH The pandemic has impacted our emotional well-being.
Until recently, mental health was not something people generally talked about in “polite society.” It may have been a topic du jour when a public figure lost their battle with depression, but it was usually swept under the rug again after a few weeks of discussion. Now, we are experiencing a full-blown mental health crisis. Even before the pandemic, the so-called “diseases of despair”— alcohol dependency, substance abuse, suicidal ideation and attempts—were on the rise.8 Recently, the CDC confirmed that overdose rates have ballooned and continue to remain at elevated rates.9 1 in 3 WIC parents who1received in 3 WICsupport parents believe who received that it support was not believe enough that it was not enough Depression and anxiety—both growing concerns even before the pandemic— 1 in 3 WIC parents have been at troubling levels throughout the pandemic.10
who received support believe that it was not enough
WIC Parents WIC Parents WIC Parents WIC Parents – Received support from – Received employer support from employer – Support received was–enough? Support received was eno
IN COMMUNICATIONS Overall, communications professionals overwhelmingly Yes Yes experienced negative mental impacts from the pandemic—over 60% of respondents Yes Yes 73% No 73 % No 65% 65% feel either “just all right” or “pessimistic” during the pandemic. And, again, WIC 2are 7% 27 % No No 35% 35% even more affected than the men: OnlyOver 32%60% of of WIC feel happy and are optimistic respondents feel either alright or pessimistic during the about their future during COVID, compared 47% of MIC. In our survey, mental COVIDto pandemic health support from an employer is expected by 65% of WIC—a clear indication Received support Support received that this type of support is crucial for the future of the industry. Q: (WF13) What kind of support did (WF13) you receive/are Whatfrom kind you of receiving support did from youyour receive/are employeryou over receiving the course from ofyour the last employer year (2020 over the through course now)? of the last year ( employer was enough? Overall mental heath Q: Q: (WF16) If you received any form Q: of (WF16) support, If you doreceived you thinkany it was formenough? of support, do you think it was enough? 22
Over 60% of respondents feel either “just all right” or “pessimistic” during the COVID pandemic Source: NYWICI #womenheard survey
I’m happy and feel optimistic about the future I’m happy and feel optimistic about the future
I have ups and downs sometimes, but overall I’m OK I have ups and downs sometimes, but overall I’m OK
I’m not happy and feel pessimistic about the future I’m not happy and feel pessimistic about the future
MINDING OUR MENTAL HEALTH
Perhaps due to the renewed focus on the racial justice movement in mid-2020, women of color in communications seem to feel more optimistic about the future. Our data showed that in the long term (versus the short term), more African American and Hispanic WIC believe that racial justice will improve, compared with Caucasian WIC. Similarly, more African American and Hispanic WIC believe that social division will improve in the long term versus short term, over Caucasian WIC. And women of color in communications are more optimistic, compared to white/Caucasian WIC, that the impact of social division on their family will reduce in the future.
The communications industry has been hit harder vs. the general population. “Maintaining focus” and “Connecting with family/significant other/friends” is quite commonly “harder” among WIC, MIC and General Population
The communications industry has been hit harder vs. the general
population. “Maintaining focus” and “Connecting with family/friends/significant other” is quite commonly “harder” among WIC and MIC than the general population
Gen Pop 50%
43% 43% 35%
Performing well well in my Performing current job job in my current
Connecting with Connecting with family/significant family/friends/ other/friends significant other
Stayingactive active Staying
Maintaining focus Maintaining focus
Source: NYWICI #womenheard survey Q: (MH12) To what extent has each of the following become personally or professionally harder during 2020 and 2021 to date?
“Prior to the pandemic, talking about mental health had such a stigma within the Black community. It’s not something that we openly spoke about. I can honestly say that in the Black community—both within my organization and outside—I am starting to see that stigma break down a little. I was an advocate of mental health prior to the pandemic, but now that I am seeing the stigma, those barriers, specifically in the Black community, break down, I am definitely more vocal. And if I can change perceptions within my community, the Black community, I will—I will continue to do so loudly and proudly.” BRANDI BOATNER, Manager, Digital and Advocacy Communications, IBM | Vice President, Student Programming, NYWICI
THE WAY WE WORK 50% WARY
Half of our survey respondents told us they aren’t comfortable going back to the office. Source: NYWICI #womenheard survey
CAN WE WORK IT OUT? The old way of working is not working (did it ever?).
During the pandemic, millions of workers discovered they were happy not to go to an office to work at a screen when they could do the same work at home, but without the wasted time of commuting. Early in the crisis, the aspiration was for things to get “back to normal.” But now, as things are starting to get back to something that resembles “normal,” we’re seeing millions of job vacancies—and a vast shortage of willing applicants. We are in what’s being called the “Great Resignation.” 11 There are many factors behind this phenomenon. Having gone through this radical upending of “normal” in terms of jobs and work culture, many—especially, it seems, those in low-paying fields—are feeling that the risk just isn’t worth the reward. There’s also the sense that it’s a “buyers’ market,” so to speak, in the labor force. With the plethora of vacancies, prospective employees are feeling more confident in being selective about what work they will take on—both in terms of industry and position.
IN COMMUNICATIONS As in other industries, communications professionals have an expectation of flexible working locations—in our survey, half of the respondents told us they aren’t comfortable going back to the office. But at the same time, a culture of connection remains important—one in four of our survey respondents who aren’t comfortable working remotely say that it’s due to the lack of social interaction.
Ongoing work-from-home opportunities and reduced workweeks are especially appealing to more than half of all working moms and roughly six in 10 who are employed full time. Source: Meredith Consumer Pulse Tracker: COVID-19, November 2020
CAN WE WORK IT OUT? “The pandemic really has allowed us the In our survey, more than half (58%) of women in communications feel comfortable working remotely, even after COVID restrictions are eased. Just 20% of our respondents believe working at home reduces their productivity due to family/personal issues, and a scant 7% think that they get access to better internet and technology working in the office, which results in better performance compared to working remotely.
opportunity to be authentically ourselves, and I would say don’t lose that. Be authentically yourself, and that means if you’re struggling don’t feel like you need to hide it—be vulnerable. If you’re a leader, be empathetic, put yourself in other people’s shoes. When they turn to you, be curious. I think that authenticity and empathy in
From Meredith Consumer Pulse Tracker: COVID-19, in this moment are going to be the November 2020, we see that only one-third of the women most important leadership traits surveyed think they will go back to living the same way. moving forward.” The Meredith research found that overall, one in four women —CARLA HASSAN, Chief Marketing Officer, JPMorgan (25%) plan to make significant changes to their lives postChase | 2020 Honoree, NYWICI Matrix Awards pandemic, while 45% will make some changes but keep 23% 23% of of WIC WIC looked looked for for aa new new job job during during COVID; COVID; 11 in in 55 of of them them was was either either laid laid off off or or furloughed furloughed some things the same.
Looked Lookedfor foraanew newjob job
None Noneof ofthe theabove above
23% of WIC looked for a new job during COVID; 1 in 5 of them was either laid off or furloughed
Increased Increasedpay pay
Reduced Reducedpay pay
17% 17% 14% 14%
Quit Quitaajob job Got Gotaanew newjob jobin inthe thedifferent differentfield field
Got Gotaanew newjob jobin inthe thesame samefield field
Laid Laidoff off
12% 12% 7% 7%
Other Other Retired/left Retired/leftthe thework workforce force
Q: Q:(WF1) (WF1)How Howwas wasyour yourjob jobimpacted impactedover overthe thecourse courseof ofthe thelast lastyear year(2020 (2020through throughnow)? now)?Please Pleaseselect selectall allthat thatapply. apply. Q: Q:(WF7) (WF7)What Whatwere wereyour yourreason(s) reason(s)for forleaving leavingyour yourprior priorjob? job?
Source: NYWICI #womenheard survey
LOOKING FORWARD: OUR CALLS TO ACTION
NEW WAYS OF WORKING All of these factors that have accelerated during the pandemic put the onus on organizations to enact changes that make them more attractive as employers. These changes may include higher starting salaries, but also things that are more intangible yet highly valued by workers— things like more flexible work policies that take into account the reality that people want to have a good quality of life outside their jobs and a corporate culture that is supportive of diversity and inclusion, among others. It’s important that we have a community mindset. It’s incumbent on all of us to think about the fact that we’re part of a whole—we have to recognize and adapt to the changing world we are all working within.
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—LAURA BRUSCA, SVP, Corporate Communications, Forbes | Chief Strategy Officer, NYWICI
—MEGAN ROKOSH, Global CMO, Havas Health & You | Vice President, Thought Leader Programming, NYWICI
—SHEEREEN MILLER-RUSSELL, SVP, Ad Sales and Inclusion Content Monetization, Oprah Winfrey Network/Discovery | Vice President, Corporate Partnership/Membership, NYWICI
CASE STUDY: LEADING FROM A CORPORATE PERSPECTIVE In May 2021, Bloomberg Media unveiled a major multi-platform expansion of Bloomberg Equality to elevate issues of race, gender diversity, and fairness within government, companies, and societies. This expanded franchise aims to inform global leaders with content that will help shape the decisions they make in order to drive change within their organizations and industries and communities.
SUPPORT FOR WORKING PARENTS AND MOTHERS We know that the role of women in our economy and society has shifted over the last century, but our systems have not evolved sufficiently to support them. These conditions have been evolving since long before the pandemic; thus, the solutions put in place should not exclusively focus on short-term COVID-19 recovery, but should also make long-lasting changes that aim to close the wage gap, improve working conditions and family leave options, and better align childcare and school systems to the needs of working parents so mothers who want to work can do so. Corporate policies and cultures need to reflect that women have fundamental roles in both the workplace and in families, and to support women in those roles.
“As a mother of two young girls, I tend to gravitate toward opportunities that help make a significant impact on people, businesses, and culture. During these last few months, we’ve each been experiencing our own personal list of ‘firsts’: maybe it’s our first time back in the office, or getting on a plane, or sending our kids back to in-person learning. We need to make our post-pandemic ‘first’ ones that propel us forward and build on what we’ve learned.” —ASHLEY MILES, Founder and CEO, Franklyn West | Former President, NYWICI
CASE STUDY: KEEPING A FINGER ON THE PULSE With Meredith Consumer Pulse Tracker: COVID-19 launched in March 2020, Meredith regularly polled its 150,000+ member Meredith Voices panel of brand visitors and readers throughout the pandemic to track changes in sentiment and behaviors among women. These insights have been leveraged to understand and react to the consumer marketplace, drive media and creative strategies, and foster ongoing ideation through a variety of clienttargeted newsletters, inclusion in predictive trend reports, IP clickstream data analytics, etc. Additionally, the group’s content leaders leverage the insights to create content across brands and platforms.
“I think my motto has always been to keep my priorities straight. There are times when you have to be somewhere for your kids, and then there are other times where there’s something really important at work, and you have to make those calls. They’re difficult and gut-wrenching and you won’t get it right all the time, but you have to be forgiving of yourself, and you have to know that nobody is perfect.” —DAWN OSTROFF, Chief Content and Advertising Officer, Spotify | Honoree, 2021 NYWICI Matrix Awards
“We need to open the hiring aperture. If our workforces look exactly the same as they did two years ago, we’re never going to actually move forward in a meaningfully different way. Too often, ‘like hires like’ and we miss out on the opportunity to include new and varied perspectives. We all know that no one is more effective than a working mother, and we have an increasingly large and untapped talent pool with the skills and the tenacity to drive change.” —ABI EVANS, SVP, Business Leadership, dentsu nternational | Secretary/Chief of Staff, NYWICI
FACING OUR MENTAL HEALTH CHALLENGES The pandemic has provided us multiple opportunities to learn lessons and make better choices. One of the primary takeaways should be this: It is time for organizations to more broadly adopt programs, technologies, and tools to address mental health issues and foster better mental health. Companies that value high rates of employee retention—i.e., every company that aims for long-term success—should put in place support systems for their workers that facilitate diverse and inclusive workplaces and create a closer feeling of community.
“Try not to underestimate the amount of time it’s going to take to adjust to a post-pandemic moment...take it in bits and don’t expect to go back to the way things were pre-pandemic.” —JACQUELINE SIMMONS, Senior Executive Editor, Americas, Bloomberg News
“Coming out of this last year and a half, we’ve all realized that the care for each other and the generosity and support we need to show at work is more important than any vision statement we put on the wall, any brand redesign or any new business win. It’s about building that core team of leaders and making sure you’re showing support for your team every day. These small ways add up to such a powerful change in getting our organization rallied and people feeling supported in really difficult times.” —AMANDA RICHMAN, North America CEO, Mindshare | Honoree, 2021 NYWICI Matrix Awards
“As current NYWICI president, it’s not lost on me the importance of this role at this time. It’s
Based on what we have heard from our WomenHeard survey, what we’re hearing from our corporate partners, and what we’re experiencing ourselves, NYWICI is activating a three-point plan in 2022.
exciting to be able to relaunch our in-person
1. Keeping our fingers on the pulse of the impact on our community.
NYWICI as the great connector to women across
2. Providing programming and content to support our community as they navigate the “new normal.”
our industry, as well as an important storyteller
3. Continuing to work with our corporate partners and beyond, sharing data and ideas that can help as they strive to support their communications workforce.
communications industry. These
We welcome all support—because we are all in this together, and we know that teamwork and collaboration are at the root of achieving great things.
programming, networking, and mentoring opportunities. I look forward to bringing back
for those who are serving at the forefront of the women across so many facets of communications have a frontrow seat to the events shaping our world.” —DUSTEE JENKINS, Global Head of Communications and PR, Spotify | 2021-2022 President, NYWICI
CREDITS STRATEGIC IMPERATIVE OF WOMENHEARD To uncover the extent of the mental, familial, and financial impacts due to COVID-19 on women in the communications field and to get a better understanding of how and why they are occurring. These findings will provide invaluable insights for industry leaders to facilitate candid conversations and for brands to create a stronger call to action to get involved. The reasons and nuances behind the impact on women in communications will be uncovered and a roadmap will be developed to build back better. A special thanks to Bloomberg Media and Meredith for their commitment to monitoring and listening and getting the kind of data we need to be sure we’re making the best decisions we can make to move forward and get beyond this pandemic.
NYWICI LEADERSHIP Dustee Jenkins President 2021-22 Ashley Miles President 2020-21
WOMENHEARD WHITE PAPER LEADERSHIP Abi Evans NYWICI Secretary Georgia Galanoudis NYWICI PresidentElect
WOMENHEARD RESEARCH TEAM
FCB Worldwide Vita Harris Danni Bayn Hui Tang
Beth Feldman Beth Feldman Media
Writer Angie Argabrite
ENGINE Valerie Heimberger
NYWICI MANAGEMENT Kellen
SURVEY METHODOLOGY The survey was fielded online by FCB in July 2021, with 1,200 respondents ages 21-65. The sample comprised 400 women in communications, 400 men in communications, and 400 respondents from the general population.
Graphic Design June Price SPONSOR
7. www.pewtrusts.org/en/research-and-analysis/blogs/stateline/2020/09/28/ mothers-are-3-times-more-likely-than-fathers-to-have-lost-jobs-in-pandemic
4. www.cnbc.com/2020/11/10/nearly-2point2-million-women-left-workforcebetween-february-and-october.html 5. iwpr.org/iwpr-issues/employment-and-earnings/women-are-falling-furtherbehind-men-in-the-recovery-and-are-5-8-million-jobs-below-pre-covidemployment-levels-compared-with-5-0-million-fewer-jobs-for-men/
9. www.commonwealthfund.org/blog/2021/drug-overdose-toll-2020-andnear-term-actions-addressing-it 10. www.publichealth.columbia.edu/public-health-now/news/covid-19-pandemicimpacts-mental-health-worldwide 11. www.nytimes.com/2021/06/18/opinion/ezra-klein-podcast-betsey-stevenson. html?showTranscript=1 23
NYWICI’s mission is to empower women in the communications field at every career stage to reach their full potential and navigate the ever-changing landscape of communications. We promote professional growth and inspire members to achieve and share success by actively encouraging leadership and professional development, as well as networking opportunities that connect women who connect the world.