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Inside The Office News Briefs

How did COVID Impact Working Women? Upcoming Study Seeks Answers

The research will include specific data on impact of the pandemic on women in the communications industry. It will be used to power a #WOMENHEARD symposium launching on May 20.

New York Women in Communications (NYWICI) announced a partnership with Meredith Corporation, FCB (Foote, Cone & Belding), ENGINE and Bloomberg Media to conduct a national research study on the impact of COVID-19 on women in the workforce. This includes a lack of child care, pay, gender and racial inequality, and other issues brought to light during COVID. The study supported by NYWICI’s signature #WOMENHEARD initiative will take on a broader focus on women in the communications industry. It aims to trigger more industry action and better address the needs of working women across all demographics.

“As a business leader and mother of two young daughters, I have always been passionate about helping individuals and businesses reach their full potential. Now is a critical time to make a positive impact,” commented Ashley Miles, president of NYWICI and founder and CEO of Franklyn West. “With the amazing support from Meredith, Bloomberg Media, FCB and ENGINE, we can accelerate results for women and businesses in the communications industry and beyond. Together, we are committed to making the workplace better for women in business which directly contributes to the bottom line. When women succeed, businesses succeed.” Miles added.

Logistics of the study

FCB Global and FCB Health Network data and media agency Solve(d) will be conducting communications-industry-specific research. Together, they will partner with ENGINE to field the survey and reach appropriate audiences. They aim to uncover the extent of the mental, familial, and financial impact of 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 of COVID on women in communications will be uncovered and a roadmap will be developed to build back better.

“The COVID-19 pandemic underscores society’s reliance on women both at work and outside of work. At the same time, it exposes the inequities women, including those of color, face across the landscape of society. Hard-fought gains for women are now under threat. This research will help us respond in a way that is of interest to everyone because building a resilient world has women at the heart of it,” said Vita Harris, Chief Strategy Officer, FCB.

“ENGINE is proud to be a part of such an important initiative. It’s time we all step up and recognize the inequalities in the workplace and continue to work together until every woman feels heard,” Kasha Cacy, Global CEO, ENGINE.

The impact of COVID on working moms

The survey data provided by Meredith will offer national research and trends that have primarily affected working mothers. In a survey conducted by Meredith, the pandemic has been especially disruptive to moms in the workforce. One in four moms who are or were employed during the pandemic had to quit or scale back their hours to care for others. This is more than double the rate of non-moms. Due to the pressures of the past year, one in two Meredith moms are interested in finding a new job that better suits their own and their family’s needs (vs. four in ten non-moms). In total, one in five moms quit their job or cut back their hours during the pandemic to care for their children.

Read more about how working parents can negotiate schedules while working from home.

Presenting the data

Bloomberg Media will augment the study on the impact of COVID with high-level perspective and analysis around pay equity and gender inequality from their proprietary data sources including the Wealth Survey, Bloomberg Brand Health System and Gender Equality Index. The compilation of the data will culminate in a white paper that will be presented at the NYWICI annual Matrix Awards. This will take place later this fall.

“Issues of inequality can impact every aspect of how companies work, and we must take a solutions oriented approach to address them,” said Anne Kawalerski, Global Chief Marketing Officer at Bloomberg Media. “Data explorations such as the NYWICI research study can create clarity around these conversations and provide a much-needed benchmark for business leaders to make improvements in their organizations, their industries and beyond.”

NYWICI will also use these findings to power a #WOMENHEARD symposium, comprising four sessions that will cover a series of thought-provoking topics.

Upcoming panel discussions

The four panel discussions will bring together a diverse suite of leadership across the communications industry to discuss the research findings on the impact of COVID and actionable solutions we can all take to improve our industry and workplaces. The sessions will feature prominent guest speakers, from media personalities to corporate leaders to former Matrix Award winners. They’ll share their experiences and perspectives on living and working through the trials of the past year, and the steps they’re taking to move forward in their professional and personal lives.

The first digital symposium will take place Thursday, May 20, 4:30 – 5:30pm. NYWICI President Ashley Miles will moderate the program.

Panelists include:

  • Carla Hassan, Chief Marketing Officer, Citi
  • Jacqueline Simmons, Senior Executive Editor, Bloomberg
  • Marisa Thalberg, Executive Vice President, Chief Brand and Marketing Officer at Lowe’s Companies

Miles will have a candid conversation with this panel of industry leaders about the realities for women in the workplace and at home. The main focus is the role of communicators in diving deeper into the perspectives of women as both employees and consumers. To register for the digital symposium, visit

About New York Women in Communications

New York Women in Communications is dedicated to promoting the highest standards throughout the industry and to providing education and leadership for the next generation. The not-for-profit association has more than 2,500 members – from senior executives to students and entrepreneurs to young professionals – representing a variety of communications disciplines. NYWICI’s mission is to support women at all levels of their communications careers, to help define the future of communications and stay ahead of the industry’s ever-changing landscape. The organization’s membership encompasses senior executives and other experienced communicators from a wide range of enterprises, as well as young professionals and students. NYWICI empowers women across communications disciplines to reach their full potential by promoting their professional growth, inspiring them to achieve and share their successes and helping them navigate the evolving and converging world of communications. For more information, visit

About FCB

FCB (Foote, Cone & Belding) is a global, award-winning and integrated marketing communications company with a heritage of creativity and success dating from 1873. Named Adweek’s 2020 Global Agency of the Year, Cannes Lions 2019 North American Creative Agency of the Year and a 2019 Ad Age A-List global top 10, FCB focuses on creating “Never Finished” campaign ideas that have the power to transform brands, businesses and communities. With more than 8,000 people in 109 operations in 80 countries, the company is part of the Interpublic Group of Companies (NYSE: IPG). Visit or follow @FCBglobal on Instagram and Twitter and FCB Global on Facebook and LinkedIn.


ENGINE is a global, full-service media and marketing services company that unites culture and commerce to move brands forward faster. We are: Driven by data. Fueled by imagination. Powered by technology. Founded in 2005, ENGINE has global headquarters in New York and 16 offices across North America, the UK, Europe and Asia-Pacific. ENGINE empowers clients to outperform in the present and win in the future with its vast range of marketing solutions including – insights, creative, media, data and technology. Find out more at and follow @engineworldwide.

About Bloomberg Media

Bloomberg Media is a leading, global, multi-platform brand that provides decision-makers with timely news, analysis and intelligence on business, finance, technology, climate change, politics and more. Powered by a newsroom of over 2,700 journalists and analysts, it reaches influential audiences worldwide across every platform including digital, social, TV, radio, print and live events. Bloomberg Media is a division of Bloomberg LP. Visit for more information.

About Meredith Corporation

Meredith Corporation, a leading media company for nearly 120 years, produces service journalism that engages audiences with essential, inspiring and trusted content. Meredith reaches consumers where they are across multiple platforms. Meredith’s National Media Group reaches nearly 95 percent of all U.S. women and more than 190 million unduplicated American consumers every month through such iconic brands as PEOPLE, Better Homes & Gardens, Allrecipes, Southern Living and REAL SIMPLE.

Meredith’s premium digital network reaches more than 150 million consumers each month. The company is the No. 1 U.S. magazine operator, with 36 million subscribers, and the No. 2 global licensor with robust brand licensing activities that include a Better Homes & Gardens partnership with Walmart. Meredith’s Local Media Group portfolio includes 17 television stations, reaching 11 percent of U.S. households and 30 million viewers. Meredith’s portfolio is concentrated in large, fast-growing markets, with seven stations in the nation’s Top 25 markets, including Atlanta, Phoenix, St. Louis, and Portland and 13 stations in the Top 50.

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