The Covid-19 pandemic has upended the working lives of many Americans, with unemployment rates spiking to almost 15% last year – a number not seen since the late 1940s.
Job Losses Since The Start Of The Pandemic
Disproportionately affected by the pandemic-related job losses are women. Since February of 2020, women have lost over half a million net jobs and accounts for more than half of overall job loss since the start of the pandemic.
It doesn’t seem that the impact will lessen this year, either: In January of 2021 alone, almost 300,000 left the workforce altogether. Today, the participation of women in the labor force is just 57%, the lowest it’s been since 1988.
In light of these sobering statistics, The Loop Marketing surveyed 600 working women about their experience in the workforce during Covid-19.
Many said that they feel it’s difficult to balance working from home and caring for their family and are often left with feelings of burnout and stress. This is unsurprising, as more than 2 in 5 said they work between 8 and 12 hours per day and spend an additional 2 to 8 hours on childcare or housework.
Help With Childcare
When we asked what they need to succeed in the current climate, a majority said a better understanding of and help with childcare could make a huge difference.
“[I need] an understanding that because I am, my child expects more of me,” one anonymous respondent said. “As a result, work comes second.”
It’s a sentiment echoed by many.
“Having more support from my job when it comes to the needs and obligations regarding my child [would be helpful],” another said. “Also, being more understandable and supportive of my feelings and concerns.”
Women Are Considering To Downsize Their Career Or Leaving The Workforce Altogether
Certainly adding to the pressure is that lack of support, which one in four say has contributed to the burnout and added stress. Because of this, 2 in 5 say they have considered downsizing their career or leaving the workforce altogether at least once since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.
It’s important to understand what women need to succeed in the current climate. While answers varied, patterns did emerge. Most answers included help with or a better understanding of childcare, the ability to set boundaries, and a better offering of mental health benefits.
To keep women in the workforce in 2021 and beyond, we must meet them where they are.