Women are Losing Job Gains Amid Pandemic
The Chattanooga Women’s Leadership Institute is sounding the alarm that women’s job gains made up until the pandemic are quickly dropping. Executive Director, Kim Shumpert, envisions a new climb ahead for working women, following a trying year for businesses.
“All of the work we have done to finally see women elevated was sort of taking hold, only for almost every bit of that to be wiped out by the pandemic,” Shumpert said in an interview with Business Insider.
In early 2020, data showed women held just over 50% of payroll jobs. Then, COVID-19 hit paralyzed the world.
In the latest report, the Bureau of Labor Statistics found about 1.8 million men have left the workforce, compared to nearly 2.4 million women.
“What you see is a lot of expectations and societal expectations that are there that on day one predominantly women were the ones to come home,” Shumpert said.
Due to closing schools and childcare facilities, women have increasingly been torn between their careers and caring for their children due to virtual learning.
“Our leadership can have some influence and really begin to do some culture-shifting around some of these things so that we can think innovatively,” Shumpert noted.
Her advice to businesses — improve pay disparities when the opportunity arises and quality of jobs available to women, and continue offering flexible schedules started during the pandemic.
“We are at a crossroads,” she said. “How we deal with this issue will determine the quality that we see going forward.”
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