According to the study “The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on women” carried out by Starcom Romania, the rhythm of everyday life for women in Romania has slowed down since the pandemic. In the absence of direct interactions with close ones, women have experienced feelings of worriedness, tiredness and agitation. On the other hand, this period has offered them the opportunity to rediscover themselves, 33% of them realizing that they want to change their job and 18% developing new hobbies, especially cooking. The new study is part of HumaGraphExperience, a series of monthly infographics by Starcom Romania, based on quantitative studies.
“The last year has been for everyone full of challenges, uncertainties, having to adapt to new situations and emotions. As the study suggests, women have been real heroes, because they maintained a balance between family/ personal life and professional life. Certainly, each of them experienced the pandemic year differently: young women longed for the pre-pandemic social life, women with children juggled between online school and everyday work tasks, while more mature women (over 45) improvised new ways to make their life easier and involved themselves in social causes”, explained Andreea Zanfir, Consumer Data Strategist, Starcom Romania.
Social distancing has brought new habits into Romanian women’s life
Women from the urban environment aged between 18 and 24 are the ones missing their friends the most (56%). The absence of new exepriences and adventures with them has determined these women to turn to books, movies and series, games and social networks.
For women aged 25 to 34, the pandemic period came with a wish to put themselves first and change their lifestyle, by adopting a greater self confidence. Women aged 35-44 have developed hobbies (19%), cooking being one of their main activity during the pandemic. Moreover, they were more attentive towards their own and their loved ones’ health.
More mature women (45-55) spent most of their time at home, where they felt the need to simplify their life (25%). They purchased new home appliances and reorganized their daily routine, becoming more aware of their actions’ impact on the environment and getting involved in different social causes.
Impact of COVID-19 on professional life
Most women (43%) were disappointed by the fact that they could not develop their professional life and 33% looked for a new job during this period, a percentage significantly higher than of those who actually lost their job (21%). However, the pandemic has made house chores easier to manage (41%) and boosted the attention to children’s education (26%).
Although they were also disappointed by the lack of professional opportunities in this period (48%), young women aged 18-24 adapted more easily to the changes in the pandemic period, managing to obtain a balance between work tasks and house chores (48%) and having more personal time (37%), which they spent including by taking online courses to acquire new skills (38%).
Similarly, the pandemic was also an obstacle for the professional development of women aged 25-44, and 33% of them realized they wanted to change their job. They enjoyed time with their children, but their attention to work tasks dropped (25%).
Compared to other age groups, mature women (45-55) reported fewer frustrations deriving from working from home.
Worriedness and tiredness, main feelings experienced during the pandemic
As for the feelings experienced by women in a period of heightened uncertainty, these were mainly negative. The most acute feeling experienced was worriedness (43%), particularly among those with higher education. This was followed by tiredness (41%), fear and agitation (33%).
Women over 45 were the most tired and feared for the safety of their families. The younger age group, 25-34, experienced anger and frustration due to isolation, while women aged 18-24 had a more positive attitude, felt happier than other age groups, more beautiful and energetic, after having discovered new passions and hobbies.
Cooking became a hobby
While younger age groups perceived cooking as relaxing, mature segments were attracted by details, such as the ingredients used and plating, considering cooking as a reason to bring together loved ones.
The age group 18-24 developed the most hobbies in the last months: cooking (67%), watching movies and series (50%), doing sports activities (44%), health and nutrition (37%), make-up (35%), personal care routine (29%), as well as personal and professional development through online courses (25%). On the other hand, mature women used their free time to play with children and read. At the same time, they focused on health, nutrition, in order to take care of their family.
Home interior, a major influence on mood
Once they started spending more time at home, women felt the need to change the interior of their home, seeking a sense of comfort and well-being. 55% of them felt the need for change, and 54% wanted to create a special space.
Women avoided gyms during this period and practiced sports at home or outdoors
More than one third of interviewed women (33%) have engaged in sports activities. For them, fitness was the main activity (41%), followed at a significant difference by jogging (33%), aerobics (31%) cycling (30%).
The study was conducted by the media agency Starcom Romania, through online interviews, on a sample of 503 persons, female, over 18 years of age, internet users, from urban environment, during 3 to 9 March 2021.
HumaGraphExperience is a series of monthly infographics, based on quantitative studies, deep diving into the characteristics of a specific target group, in relation to a specific category (sweets, beer or luxury products consumption), to a specific occasion (Easter, Christmas, Black Friday) or a new communications phenomenon (e.g. influencer marketing, technology adoption).