The labour markets around the world were disrupted in 2020 on a historically unprecedented scale due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, the impact of the (short and longer term) socio-economic effects of COVID-19 fall disproportionately on women. Women are much more likely to work in sectors which have been negatively impacted by COVID-19 such as personal or retail services, and in addition they are also burdened with pastoral, childcare and domestic labour. Women also experience significantly higher levels of guilt in relation to work and family life balance, compared to their male counterparts.
An accumulation of these factors has resulted in additional stresses and pressure on women which need to be recognised and addressed in order to improve their physical and mental health and wellbeing in a post covid world.
The BALANCE project aims to support and equip women and their workplace leaders to better manage work-life balance in a post covid working world. Therefore, four strategic target groups are addressed: women working in a remote setting, supervisors and workplace leaders, adult educators, learners in general and top management staff in HEIs/VET.
The target groups will receive support in the following innovative ways:
• Firstly, by providing high quality and appropriate resources to empower women themselves to share and validate their pandemic experiences (R1)
• By providing a user-friendly Better BALANCE Guide which will be made up of practical materials for resilience and learning to work better within our new digital world (R2), and
• in terms of shifting the support burden solely from women, by empowering employers and workplace leaders to take ownership and support their staff in a meaningful way (R3).
By creating this new upskilling pathways BALANCE will ensure that women are more prepared to deal with the stresses and requirements within our modern world. But in addition to this BALANCE will support those women in leadership roles, empowering them to create a culture of support.
Overall, the project promotes a proactive approach, flexible working coupled with dynamic support to ensure the health and mental well-being of staff is not compromised. BALANCE will affect change at a leadership level. This will ensure high levels of integration and engagement with the resources as well as maximising the impact for our target groups.
The result will be improved digital balance for users and management techniques for reducing stress and anxiety within the modern working world.
The project is coordinated by the Tallinn University (EE), has started in November 2021, and will run for two years.
Here is the link to the project website.
Connect with BALANCE through the Digital Ways community!