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The Working Caregivers Series

Working caregivers—particularly women—left the workforce in record numbers during the pandemic. Now they're returning to work, and companies must deliver the support employees need to make the workplace inclusive and sustainable—or risk losing top talent again.

Caregivers aren’t just parents of young children. They’re people caring for an ailing spouse, aging relatives, and grown children with disabilities. And let’s face it, women are disproportionately tasked with caregiving responsibilities, which makes them more vulnerable to interruptions in their career and less able to advance at equal rates. Companies need to step up and make caregiver support a top priority—not only because it’s the right thing to do, but because it delivers an advantage in the competition for talent.

What Can Employers Do to Support Working Caregivers?

The challenge of balancing work and caregiving is a perennial problem that became supercharged during COVID-19—and won't go away when the pandemic ends. In July 2021, when care options were reopening and vaccines were becoming readily available to younger children, our research found that nearly half of all caregivers were still worried about their future at work, as well as their overall well-being. So what can employers do to support caregivers? We have identified five ways to ease the burden on working caregivers.

  1. Know your working caregivers, recognize caregiver strain and burnout, and listen to caregivers’ needs. 
  2. Offer the range of benefits and resources that working caregivers need, from everyday care support, including subsidies and funding, to emergency support and flexibility in when, how much, and where employees work. 
  3. Embed and accelerate new ways of working, flexible work schedules, part-time options, and job sharing to help employees balance work and caregiving. 
  4. Ensure that taking advantage of flexibility options does not hinder career advancement  
  5. Foster a culture of openness and inclusion and elevate senior role models who highlight work-life balance for caregivers. 

Our Insights on Working Caregivers

Impact in 60: Fixing a Broken Care Economy

BCG's Impact in 60 series features our experts sharing in 60 seconds how they’re working with clients and partners to tackle global challenges and make a positive impact. Here, BCG's Neeru Ravi explains how the US stands to lose $290 billion in GDP per year if it doesn’t address the broken care economy.

Our Experts on Working Caregivers

Our experts can help you implement a variety of innovative options to ease the burden on working caregivers, support employees returning to work after caregiving, and mitigate the risk of losing critical talent.

How BCG Supports Working Caregivers

We are proud to offer best-in-class benefits to support BCG’s working caregivers and are dedicated to listening, learning, and expanding our benefits and support.

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