Women continue to carry a heavier workload at home and distributing the responsibilities more evenly among family members will help women to advance in their careers further, said Scotiabank's Chief Human Resources Officer Barb Mason.

But it’s also important that society encourage and celebrate when men take on more of the home responsibilities or take parental leave, as there still is a stigma, she added.

“I think if that was to start to move a little bit more, we would not only see less stress obviously on women, but also their ability to advance further because the workload is shared, and it’s shared willingly and openly.”

In the latest episode of Pandenomics – our podcast series looking at the impact of COVID-19 on the economy – Mason talks about her own career journey and takeaways from the challenges of the past year. 

One important lesson that has emerged as many employees work from home is what Mason calls “organizational intimacy,” an increased transparency about their personal circumstances during this challenging period, whether that’s caring for young children or taking care of elder family members.

Online gathering places have been created within the Bank for employees, such as a group for parents, to connect and support one another and share solutions, she added.

“There's an intimacy that's been created because we are all in our homes in our personal lives and trying to come to work every day with all of that context around us,” she said. “And we found that for the vast majority of employees, being able to talk about that, being able to be open about that and not having to hide it is far healthier for people.”

  • Listen to Pandenomics Ep. 11: Fighting financial crime during a pandemic here.  
  • Listen to Pandenomics Ep. 10: A post-vaccine retail rebound? here.  
  • Listen to Pandenomics Ep. 9: Preparing for the unpredictable here.  
  • Listen to Pandenomics Ep. 8: A brighter economic outlook for 2021 here.  
  • Listen to Pandenomics Ep. 7: Markets recover as COVID cases surge here.  
  • Listen to Pandenomics Ep. 6: Biden pros, cons for Canada here.  
  • Listen to Pandenomics Ep. 5: COVID and real estate, Part 2 here.  
  • Listen to Pandenomics Ep. 4: The COVID housing boom here.  
  • Listen to Pandenomics Ep. 3: COVID-19 and business here.  
  • Listen to Pandenomics Ep. 2: COVID-19's impact on jobs here.  
  • Listen to Pandenomics Ep. 1: COVID-19 and Canada's economy here.