Both men and women are feeling even more burned out in 2021 than they were in 2020. The annual ‘Women in the Workplace’ report from McKinsey & Co. and LeanIn.Org found that the gap between women and men who say they are burned out has nearly doubled in the last year. Women in particular have taken on more responsibilities at home from supervising remote learning for their children to basic household chores. Women have also been forced out of their jobs at a disproportionate rate. As the U.S. Census Data reports there are nearly 1.5 million fewer mothers with children 18 or younger in the workforce in March 2021 compared to February 2020.
The oppressive systems we live and work under have created a burnout epidemic, and this is all the worse for Black women and femmes who have a long legacy of exhaustion at the hands of white supremacist heteropatriarchy. Imagine the impact when, on top of the daily strife of enduring systems of misogynoir, you are also forced to weather an unprecedented and entirely mishandled health pandemic that is statistically more likely to murder you.
Black women persist, despite a system set up to ensure they don’t. Black women don’t need to learn to lean in, they are already doing this simply by showing up every day and overcoming one barrier after another. Black women must persist against the odds just to do their job, be treated fairly, get paid equally, and access leadership opportunities. We need to create a work environment where Black women don’t have to lean in, perform to a higher standard or deal with excessive burnout because the organization already works for them.
On this episode I am joined by career coach, Ashley Morgan, to discuss why Black women’s experience of burnout is different and importantly how all of us can navigate burnout and manage our wellbeing in difficult times.