Lawyer Monthly - Women In Law Awards 2022

2 Discrimination&HumanRights Lawyer of theYear Speaking of access to basic needs on a global scale, how have the aftermath of COVID-19 and the ongoing Great Resignation affected the work that you are doing at the moment? They are both integral to my current work. COVID-19 caused a tremendous and disproportionate burden on women, minorities, and impoverished persons. It made my work with governments and civil rights, human rights, and disaster recovery NGOs all that much more immediate and urgent. The shuttering of the hospitality and service industries took away the paycheck from many people who already barely survived paycheck to paycheck. People needed food, water, shelter, medical care, and mental health support services. With unprecedented need, organisations had to step up. I am grateful to be able to help them do so. And with children not physically at school and not all workplaces going remote, people who already couldn’t afford childcare had to leave their jobs, exacerbating their economic hardship. Scores of women, in particular, left the workforce. For those who were able to pivot to remote work, the need to school their young children simultaneously while working—compounded with tight living spaces and often dysfunctional if not entirely absent internet connections—ultimately drove them out. The pandemic starkly revealed the utter lack of social safety and security for the working poor, most especially women and minorities, in times of disaster. It made clear that it’s time to strengthen the support for these groups, lest their fundamental rights continue to be violated through lack of attention and neglect. It is time to reexamine old paradigms and create comprehensive new systems through a holistic lens. The pandemic and its weight on workers also made it undeniably clear that organisations had to change. The way the majority of organisations are run leaves no room—no alternative—for people who have to completely upend and rearrange their lives. Business cannot continue as it has in the past. We are at the intersection of a changing workforce, a changing workplace, and a changing world. Moreover, the rising workforce consists predominantly of Millennials and GenZers. The Great Resignation, Great Reset, and Quiet Quitting phenomena represent their change in corporate philosophy—a philosophy that is very different from that of the Baby Boomers. It is a shift in priorities and values solidified by the disproportionate burden they carried due to the pandemic. Now this rising workforce has a need to align with their organisation’s mission and values, and a need

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