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The Caregiver Sandwich

The Caregiver Sandwich

Leading, and caring, in the midst of a crisis

By Lori Schmidt

As we work to get the COVID -19 pandemic under control and get our economies moving, we see almost every aspect of our lives has been impacted; from how we work and communicate, to how and what we buy, to how we live, and even how we manage our roles as leaders and caregivers.

In this extraordinary new reality, the massive changes in behaviour have put leaders, especially women leaders, in challenging positions. Suddenly they find themselves trying to manage their own stress levels and support others, adapting to daily changes to what was “normal” routine, and helping others navigate similar stressors and changes.

For the woman leader suddenly managing a remote workforce, new plant safety adjustments, and supply chain structure changes – and who, in the past, had time to adjust and build rhythm into work and home practices as her career progressed – the new pressures have been intense.

Women, especially, have had to simultaneously focus on what matters most and execute multiple initiatives well. This means, first and foremost, they must lead with purpose by taking care of their people, their customers, their families, their parents, and their communities. At the same time, they must focus on three horizons to shape the way forward: navigate the now, plan for recovery, and lead in the next normal – or what I can our ‘restart’. Read more.

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