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Let’s start off on the right foot

“You are loved just for being who you are, just for existing.” –Ram Dass


The skinny

More than 2 in 5 of the 12.2 million women’s jobs lost between February and April 2020 have not yet returned.

Let’s go girls.

We’re going out tonight, but we’re not feeling alright. Especially women of color who are being hit disproportionately hard with 9.1% of Latinas and 8.4% of Black women unemployed vs 5.7% of white women.

But this is just temporary right?

Um, unfortunately, not necessarily. Even if we end up hitting our economic stride, vaccination rates increase, schools resume, and we get back to a semblance of normal, many of the issues that boiled over for women during the pandemic have been bubbling for decades.

Like what?

Well, some issues are systemic that will require legislative action, while others will require a more holistic national approach that might take years to implement. More specifically, issues that revolve around consistent and affordable childcare, mental health support, equal pay, and flexible work.  

Easy peasy…

Lemon squeezey me something stronger as we dive into child care. Parents, particularly mothers, found themselves struggling to work productively while simultaneously caring for and educating their children as schools and daycares shut down.  

All aboard the struggle bus.

Make a lot of room. Globally, women took on 173 additional hours of unpaid child care last year, compared to 59 additional hours for men. And that’s not all.

What else?

With the gender wage gap in mind, the sheer cost of child care and the mental health strains that come with working full-time and caring/choring/doing all the things full time is causing women to permanently drop out of the workforce.  

Will that really affect recovery efforts?

Do you want to take 5.8 trillion steps back? Increased female labor force participation could accelerate U.S. GDP growth, adding a staggering $5.87 trillion to the global stock market in 10 years.

Date with data: Mothers are 1.5x more likely than fathers to spend an extra 3 or more hours a day on housework and childcare –equivalent to 20 hours a week, or half a full-time job.

Dive deeper: It’s Time for Your Women’s Taskforce: Getting Women Back to Work.

Further reading: 12 Working Moms Speak up about the Benefits They Want from Employers.

Totes quotes: “Senior-level women are significantly more likely than men at the same level to feel under pressure to work more and as though they have to be ‘always on.’ And they are 1.5 times more likely than senior-level men to think about downshifting their careers or leaving the workforce because of COVID-19. Almost 3 in 4 cite burnout as a main reason.” –The McKinsey & Company analysis

The skinny

According to employees, benefits that would have the biggest positive impact on their health include more guidance on exercise, diet, sleep, and mental health.


Yes, it’s back to basics. While employers are concerned about the well-being of their workforce, they are prioritizing some health needs like addressing loneliness and isolation for example, that employees don’t necessarily rank as most important.

Ya basic.

Maybe that’s a good thing. Focusing on core wellness benefits that support employees’ overall health might be a good place to start before adding more bells and whistles to your benefits packages. That, and communicating. Employees said better communication about benefits is the #1 way employers can improve benefits offerings.  

What about ROI?

Good point. The ROI on wellness programs is still fuzzy, with many organizations relying on anecdotal feedback instead of real claims-based data to determine benefits success.  

Where do we go from here?

Well. You know the saying you can’t go home again? Maybe we can when it comes to wellness benefits. Despite this past tumultuous year, employees are still facing the same health concerns as they were before the pandemic.


Tough love time, they simply don’t know about the benefits that could help them because of a lack of personalized communication. Acting urgently to reverse low employee awareness will be key to improve overall employee health and workplace satisfaction.

Totes quotes: “Today, we are seeing a gap between what employers believe their people need, what they are providing and what their team is actually using.” –Chris Cronin, CEO of MOBE

Further reading: Getting Back to Sleep if You Wake Up at 3 a.m.

The skinny

Stress and self-doubt can make you dumber.

You’re joking, right?

Not this time. While we tend to think of IQ as fixed, and our natural ability usually is, our circumstances and environment can have a major impact.


Well, by managing stress levels, time management, and anxiety, studies show that IQ test levels go up. But it goes beyond that.  

Go beyond.

Sure, ok. According to recent research, remembering a time you were successful or proud can help raise your IQ score by as much as 10 points.  

You mean self-affirmation?

Yup, exactly. Boosting your self-esteem can help you make better decisions when it comes to money, relationship goals, and life goals. Reflecting on a time when you were successful and in control of your life before a mentally demanding task will help you think a little clearer and come up with a better solution. Be proud!

Further reading: 25 Daily Affirmations to Improve Your Mindset.

Now a break from the news…

Who will be crowned GOAT?

Compliance Corner

Making faces doesn’t count as retaliation.

Here’s something to… 

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Mindfulness Moments.

Benefits Insight Dashboard

Those in Health Care and Assistance Report 37% Average Health.