Some of Insurance Business Australia's (IB) Elite Women for 2022 stood out among their peers for successfully juggling work, household chores, and child care when the COVID-19 pandemic forced everyone to stay at home.
In an interview with IB elite woman Jessica Jenkins, relationship manager at Brooklyn Underwriting and co-founder of Women's Wellness Hour of Power, shared how the pandemic impacted her mental health, what it is like to take care of children while working, and how she was able to let go of her perfectionism.
Jenkins explained that the pandemic had added pressure to existing triggers for women of all ages and amplified financial stress and mental health issues.
“Lockdowns [resulted in] reduced social support and connection, creating a fragmented disconnect and social isolation from friends, family, and support networks that most women and young mums rely upon,” she told IB. “Lockdowns also meant ‘no buffer’ between work and home life with schools and childcare centres closed, children at home requiring care or home schooling when usually at school or in care, adding to the pressure of managing paid and unpaid work all under one roof.”
Even though it is difficult to improve mental health during lockdowns, Jenkins revealed that she has finally overcome her perfectionism, one of the challenges she had to face when she was juggling work and childcare. When working from home, she quickly found that her young child sometimes interrupts important business and client meetings, which initially worried her, but she soon realised that everyone was understanding, and the domestic quirks helped humanise the situation.
“It was not comfortable managing a toddler and working remotely; however, I got my trusty journal out and reflected on the day,” Jenkins told IB. “Was it bad? I was safe in my home and had the ability to work remotely while sadly, many others did not have that luxury.”
Find out more about Jenkins and the rest of this year's elite women in the Australian insurance industry, including how they thrived during the pandemic, by reading the IB Elite Women 2022 report.