Covid-19 Has Come With Multiple Opportunities, Tap Into Them!
Dr. Joan Gathungu is focused on inspiring young lives. She is a firm believer in holistic learning to prepare the young ones to function anywhere globally and conquer the social, political, economic and cultural set ups they find themselves in. She is a believer that learning is the cornerstone of all solutions, and a practitioner of fun learning for impact
How did you start off your career, and who inspired you? I started off as an untrained teacher. My parents were teachers; it was always the way to go. The urge to impact thousands of young lives was in itself a big push.
As a female leader, what has been the biggest barrier to growth in your career? My biggest challenge……. actually became my biggest drive. Family, the centrality of family, the commitment to building a strong foundation and the God given unique mom role just drives me.
Do women in your profession have a hard time getting jobs or promotions during the Covid-19 era? Covid-19 has affected us all in terms of opportunities for self-employment, employment, training and upward mobility. It has, however, been a season of the birth of new possibilities and opportunities… entrepreneurship, technology, societal focus, just to mention a few.
How can women achieve an equal future in a Covid-19 World? God gave each one of us an opportunity, based on where we are. The starting point is where you are today. Some of us require further training, others to reorient, get strong mentors, and yet others, just personal strategic plans. Each woman must reflect on her prevailing circumstances, identify opportunities that come with Covid-19, and tap into them.
Any career opportunities for women post Covid-19? Yes, quite a number. Remote working opportunities, online jobs such as sales, virtual assistants and many more. Covid-19 related support industries such as preparation of supplements, cleaning and sanitizing, take away foods and many more. Others include caring for the elderly and the ill in homes and homeschooling opportunities.
Career advice to young women entering your profession during the Covid-19 world? Exercise caution, Covid-19 is real. Covid-19 is not a death sentence, it comes with multiple opportunities, just tap into them. Remember, there is life after Covid-19, go for skills and networks to position yourself appropriately. For young women, self believe, hard work and continuous learning are key!
One recommendation for HR leaders to help promote women in the Covid-19 era at the workplace? Psycho-social support for all staff members. Understand that women face unique challenges as homemakers and caregivers. It is, therefore, necessary to flex their jobs, allow remote working opportunities, and continuously train all staff. Covid-19 preparedness through facilities and training is the cornerstone.
Run programmes for all staff that allow more understanding of the roles that gender places on each member of staff.
Change of attitude in post-Covid is key, as life can change in a day. Therefore, embrace life and guide staff to embrace preparedness especially in financial, retirement and even any other form of exit.