This year has been rough. Covid-19 has affected everyone. I know that it has impacted me and my life. There have been so many changes in our daily routines. Kids are learning from home and families are spending holidays apart. I don’t know if we could have predicted the effects that this pandemic has had on our world.
Do you think that Covid has impacted female employment in the workforce? Are working women disproportionately experiencing negative effects compared to their male counterparts? I want to share with you how this pandemic has impacted women and their careers. To tell you the truth, I was shocked when I learned this information!
Let me be clear. Covid is NOT gender-neutral. Women workers are definitely being negatively affected right now. Here are some surprising numbers to show you how important women are to the workforce and how many are leaving.
- 1 in 4 women is considering downshifting their careers or leaving the workforce due to the impact of Covid-19.
- 80% of 1.1 million who dropped out of the labor force in 9/2020 were women.
- Women are 39% of the global workforce but 54% of pandemic-related job losses.
- Mothers are 3x as likely as fathers to be responsible for housework and childcare.
- Mothers spend 20 more hours/week on housework and childcare compared to fathers.
- Black mothers are 2x more likely than white mothers to handle ALL childcare and housework
- Latina mothers are 1.6x more likely to handle ALL childcare and housework
- Black and Latina’s mothers are more likely to have a partner who works out of the home
- Countries led by women performed better.
- The gender effect of the pandemic could lower global GDP by $1 trillion by 2030
Wow. These numbers are staggering. Can you believe that women do so much more childcare and housework compared to men? Childcare and housework are not called “women’s work” anymore, but we can see that women are still expected to be responsible for these areas. It is important to point out how systemic racism and discrimination, privilege, socioeconomic, and geographical factors influence the domestic workload of these mothers and their communities.
So, why do women leave work more than men? Women are expected to drop everything in order to take care of their children. Now, with kids being at home more, many women are choosing to spend more time with their families. Children cannot be left alone all day, and it is safer for a parent to stay home with them than having someone else come to watch them. There is also another factor that dictates which parent goes to work and which stays home: money.
There is still gender bias within the labor force and men out-earn women in the workplace. Here is an example of income inequality based on statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau. Imagine that everyone in this scenario has the same job at the same company with the same qualifications and work experience. A man earns a salary of $100,000. An Asian woman makes $97,000. White women would take home $80,000 and Black women would make $66,000. The wage gap becomes largest between men and Hispanic women, who earn just $58,000 for doing the exact same job. Of course, couples will choose a higher salary when determining who stays home. If I were in that position, I would make the same call. It is just unfortunate that gender and income inequality is still so prevalent today. There is another downfall to women staying home. When women leave work, they create a gap in their employment history, which makes it hard for them to find work later. Have you known anyone who had a hard time getting a job after staying home with her baby or children?
Clearly, women are at a disadvantage in the workplace. But, the workplace is also at a disadvantage without women. Sixty percent of women possess college degrees. When women are not in the workforce, we do not have the most qualified people working. As an employer or a fellow team member, you should support women in your work environment. It is really important to have diverse, creative, and qualified thoughts and ideas in the workplace. It benefits not just the business and shareholders, but also the public. It is also important for transparency reasons to have gender diversity and women’s equality in your company. We work better when there is a variety of thoughts, experiences, and backgrounds I think we should all support an effort to increase female employment rates and women in leadership.
I would love to hear your own experiences, thoughts, and insights into this topic!
Beate Chelette is The Growth Architect & Founder of The Women’s Code, a training company specialized in providing companies an ROI on Balanced Leadership. She has been named one of 50 must-follow women entrepreneurs by the Huffington Post. A first-generation immigrant who found herself $135,000 in debt as a single parent, she bootstrapped her passion for photography into a highly successful global business and eventually sold it to Bill Gates in a multimillion-dollar deal.
Beate works with business leaders and supports organizations by developing and providing training the training, tools, and expertise to create and maintain a balanced, equal, and inclusive work environment that fosters creativity, employee engagement, and corporate growth.
Recent clients include Merck, Women’s Legislative Caucus of California, Cal State University Dominguez Hills, Small Business Development Centers (SBDC), NFTE, CreativeLive, the Association of Corporate Growth, and TracyLocke.
Beate is the author of the #1 International Amazon Bestseller “Happy Woman Happy World – How to Go From Overwhelmed to Awesome” a book that corporate trainer and best-selling author Brian Tracy calls “a handbook for every woman who wants health, success and a fulfilling career.
To book Beate to speak or train please connect here. Your Time Is Valuable!