Learning Methods
A traditional classroom couples on-site learning with the added value of face-to-face interaction with instructors and peers. With courses and exams scheduled worldwide, you will be sure to find a class near you.
Highly Interactive
On-going interaction with instructor throughout the entire classroom event
Interaction with peers/professionals via face-to-face
Components (May Include)
On-site instructor-led delivery of course modules, discussions, exercises, case studies, and application opportunities
Supplemental learning elements such as: audio/video files, tools and templates, articles and/or white papers
E-course materials available two weeks prior to the course start date; printed course materials ship directly to the event location
One + Days
Varies by course ranging from one to multiple days
Technical Needs
Specific requirements are clearly noted on the course page
Virtual Classroom
Ideal for those who appreciate live education instruction, but looking to save on travel. A virtual classroom affords you many of the same learning benefits as traditional–all from the convenience of your office.
Highly Interactive
On-going interaction with instructor throughout the entire virtual classroom event
Interaction with peers/professionals via online environment
Components (May Include)
Live online instructor-led delivery of course modules, discussions, exercises, case studies, and application opportunities
Supplemental learning elements such as: audio/video files, tools and templates, articles and/or white papers
E-course materials available up to one week prior to the course start date. Recorded playback and supplemental materials available up to seven days after the live event.
Varies by course ranging from one to multiple sessions
Technical Needs
Adobe Flash Player
Acrobat Reader
Computer with sound capability and high-speed internet access
Phone line access
A self-paced, online learning experience that allows you to study any time of day. Course material is pre-recorded by an instructor and you have the flexibility to view content modules as desired.
Independent Learning
Components (May Include)
Pre-recorded course modules
Supplemental learning elements such as: audio/video files, online quizzes
E-course materials start on the day of purchase
Optional purchased print material ships within 7 business days
120 Days - Anytime
120-day access starts on the day of purchase
Direct access to all components
Technical Needs
Adobe Flash Player
Acrobat Reader
Computer with sound capability and high-speed internet access
Contact Sponsor
Paul Thompson
Phone: 1 44 01614322584
Contact by Email | Website
Sorry, you can't add this item to the cart.
You have reached the maximum allowed quantity for purchase in your cart or the item isn't available anymore.
Product successfully added to your cart!
View your cart
Continue shopping
Please note our website will be down this Friday, November 5 from 9pm ET – 11pm ET for routine maintenance. We apologize for any inconvenience.

Women at Work: Bridging the Global Gap Year


Remember when taking a “gap year” — to travel, volunteer, pursue a passion, or maybe just do nothing — was a privilege of undergraduate life? Well, 2020 and the coronavirus pandemic gave us the gap year that no one wanted. And while getting back on track, workwise, is easier for some than for others, bridging the gap has a lot to do with where in the world you are — especially for women.

From geographies that thrive on knowledge workers to manufacturing and industrial hubs, the challenge of bringing women back into a post-pandemic workforce can’t be ignored. Indeed, U.S. women (especially women of color) have been overrepresented in lower-wage and administrative roles, losing far more of those jobs than men, while the burden of domestic caregiving has only made their life harder during the pandemic disruption. This is true outside of the U.S. as well.  

In France, 36% of women experienced an increased workload (compared to 29% of men), while school closures resulted in 43% of women reporting an increase of four hours or more of additional household chores. In a UK study, 46% of caregivers reported working the same hours at their job, but noted their work is negatively affected by fatigue and stress. In the UK alone, where 1.4 million people provide more than 50 hours of work toward unpaid care per week, nearly one quarter of these caregivers have considered giving up their jobs because of the stress.

Compounding and confounding all this, traditional bias besets organizations when it comes to hiring and developing new generations of women and minorities. Will that bias be exacerbated by the pandemic employment gap glaring from so many resumes? Whether candidates are viewed — fairly or not — as lacking in ambition or insufficiently skilled, those with resume gaps suffer a 45% lower chance of job interviewing than those who have held onto work.

Organizationally, solutions to pandemic-provoked inequity lean toward common sense. “Companies must be open and let candidates know they don’t discriminate against those who have taken time away from the workforce,” said Mita Mallick, head of inclusion, equity and impact at Carta, a global equity management company. “As leaders, we must continue to focus on candidates’ skills and their prior experiences.”

Mallick also urges women to be transparent about their COVID-19 gap year on their resumes and LinkedIn profiles, while leadership must continue its war against unconscious bias and overt favoritism, making hiring decisions that reward the best candidates.

Meanwhile, in Latin America, the traditions of male workforce hegemony run deep, but multinational manufacturing giants such as Kimberly-Clark recognize the opportunity in the challenge. “In Latin America, we are working in different initiatives as part of our inclusion and diversity agenda and parity journey,” said Viviane Cury, VP of HR for Kimberly-Clark Latin America. “I&D is a priority for us, and we have a strong agenda for the coming years.”

Even so, a year out of work can worsen the skill gap for many workers given that the COVID-19 trauma led to an unanticipated acceleration of technology and networking solutions. Since March 2020, the pendulum has swung toward tech-savvy colleagues who can manage a mass Zoom meeting without forgetting to unmute. Those accustomed to low-tech administrative and service duties can face a steeper competitive curve.

“For women interested in upskilling and learning more about technology fields, Women Who Code is a great nonprofit to start with,” Mallick noted. “Their mission is to inspire women to excel in technology careers. They offer access to global networks, recommendations on courses and curriculum, and provide scholarships and free tickets to conferences.”

But tech-savvy work isn’t necessarily limited to workers who code or aspire to code. In India, Daimler India Commercial Vehicles welcomed the first cohorts of women workers to its factories this year. This stereotype-shattering step was made possible, in part, by advances in mechanization and robotics that no longer require heavy lifting as much as good hand-eye coordination for screens and joysticks. (Companies like Tata Steel are following suit, developing training programs that can lead more women to, yes, coding and engineering degrees.)

As for Kimberly-Clark Latin America, Cury notes that the company has launched its SheCan program, promoting and supporting the development and networking of women leaders in Latin America. More than 450 Kimberly-Clark leaders across the region are participating in a variety of activities. “For women, one powerful aspect of this program is its connection to the Kotex brand, making very consistent what we express to our consumers and also to our employees internally,” Cury said. Clearly, connecting to the power of brands can play a role in affirming corporate values to women in the workforce, with a segment-leading product such as Kotex as a symbol of Kimberly-Clark’s commitment to women’s well-being.

Cury outlined the SheCan program’s four sequential pillars:

  1. SheCan Connect, which invites internal and external speakers to give keynotes and inspirational talks addressing women’s issues and how to realize career ambitions.
  2. SheCan Inspire. “That is all about women mentoring women,” said Cury, noting that high-achieving women within the company have much to share with aspiring employees.
  3. SheCan Express, which gathers groups of female employees for interactive discussions and reflection.
  4. SheCan Grow, which focuses on career development, with personal brand workshops to ensure that women take advantage of everything from in-house networking and educational opportunities to the brand-advancing power of platforms such as LinkedIn.        

Significantly, the pandemic gap year has led Kimberly Clark Latin America to focus on the plight of working mothers. Cury is especially proud of its outreach program for attracting what she calls “Moms Talent” that has had to step out of the workforce amidst the COVID-19 crisis.  “Moms looking to come back to work allows KC not only to walk the talk but also to connect with more women talent,” Cury said. “To ensure the success of this program we have a change management plan that includes work on leadership awareness and sensibilization, along with support and guidance in the onboarding period.”

And that leads back to the issue of male commitment. “Our focus is to work with our leaders to expand their inclusive leadership capabilities,” Cury said. “This year we launched a training program that invites leaders to identify their own biases and define an action plan to work on them. The best way to overcome stereotypes is by talking about them, making them visible and exchanging real examples that provide evidence that they are onlystereotypes. We also have a robust communication plan to show how possible it is to bring women into career areas that are predominantly male. It’s a journey that all of us in the company need to walk together.”

Still, there’s no avoiding the skills issue underscored by the ongoing pandemic pause. “We have different programs running across the region in order to assure the upskilling needed,” Cury said. “These relate to agile and digital capabilities, RGM (revenue growth management), and new leadership skills. In the leadership space, the pandemic and post-pandemic environment will require more empathetic, flexible and vulnerable leaders, and a collaborative environment. All of this upskilling will be essential — for men as well as women.”

About the Author

Matt Damsker Bio Image

Matt Damsker is a former principal with Mercer, an author and journalist. He served as managing editor of Human Resource Executive magazine, as a staff reporter and columnist with several leading newspapers, including the Los Angeles Times and Hartford Courant and is a regular contributor to USA Today.

About WorldatWork

WorldatWork is a professional nonprofit association that sets the agenda and standard of excellence in the field of Total Rewards. Our membership, signature certifications, data, content, and conferences are designed to advance our members’ leadership, and to help them influence great outcomes for their own organizations.

About Membership

Membership provides access to practical resources, research, emerging trends, a professional network, and career-building education and certification. Learn more and join today.