Covid-19 and Women in the Workforce – Rep Katie Porter

The following are excerpts from the report “The Burden of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Women in the Workforce”

No matter how one looks at the economic data—by race, by sector, by income—the story is the same: the burden of the coronavirus pandemic is falling hardest on women. Without action, the pandemic will likely erase decades of progress for working women, who are now being forced to shoulder the burden of childcare and remote learning –  Forward by Rep. Katie Porter

The Waning Women Workforce – Excerpts from the Report:

“Since the start of the pandemic, 22 percent of all women have left the workforce.

Job losses remain concentrated in industries with the greatest proportion of women in the workforce, especially women of color. Nine of the ten industries that saw the most jobs lost are in the service sector, including women-dominated professions such as performing arts, sightseeing, hotels, and retail.    As a result, mothers experienced greater initial increases in unemployment as compared to fathers.  Economists and labor experts are concerned that many of these jobs will not return, as restaurants and entertainment venues close their doors permanently and retailers reconsider brick and mortar locations. “

“As the crisis wears on, more women are being forced to make these impossible choices. Of the more than 1.1 million workers who were forced out of their jobs in September, 865,000 (80.0%) were women, including 324,000 Latinas and 58,000 Black women.

Mothers were more likely than fathers to reduce their work hours, take a leave of absence from work, transition to part time employment, or take other measures to reduce their work time and commitment. According to one study, 42 percent of women with children under the age of two have been forced from the workforce during the pandemic. “

“The Crisis in Corporate America 

Women in corporate America are also being forced to play the role of both parent and employee during work hours, and according to a recent study, 1-in-3 mothers in corporate jobs are considering leaving the workforce. The study also found that mothers are more than three times as likely as fathers to be responsible for most of the housework and caregiving during the pandemic. Indeed, mothers are 1.5 times more likely than fathers to be spending an additional three or more hours a day on housework and childcare—equivalent to 20 hours a week, or a part-time job. “

Marshall Plan for Working Mothers

Conclusion:

“It is imperative, not just for women’s advancement in society but also for our economy, that women enter the workforce to offset retiring baby boomers—especially now that the coronavirus is driving many older Americans into an early retirement.54 

Commonsense, bipartisan policies can help women continue to work, but we need to act now. As the only single mother of young children in Congress, I am happy to join my colleagues, especially many of my freshmen peers, in fighting for these policies. It’s time for employers to do the same. “

Read the full report

Then take action – Tell your representatives that we need a Marshall Plan for Working Women.  Fast Action Here