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Is the workplace waiting for women who have left work due to the epidemic? | Business and Wealth

Louisville, Kentucky, United States – Patricia Iverson feels closed. A 33-year-old unmarried two-year-old woman was working hard to pay off her mortgage to move into a bigger house. But when a coronavirus recently forced a company based in Louisville, Kentucky, to reduce its hours, he felt he had no choice but to stop and find something else.

He says: “It was not right to spend a few days each week.

Iverson, like many women who lost their jobs or quit their jobs during the epidemic, is now looking for a new job – one that will pay off debts, and allow them to stay close to their children, who have asthma and epilepsy.

“I just feel like I’m alone with myself and my kids,” Iverson explained.

Women, especially women and women of all races, have been affected by the epidemic. Many are forced to work full-time, unpaid child care, education and training for older children, all the while continuing to manage their full-time, paid work. Others, such as Iverson, have been fired because of the effects of the plague.

While the U.S. market is still operating, though slower than most wealth, experts fear that women who have lost years of career advancement. At the same time, they see the epidemic as an opportunity to revolutionize the way employers change working parents – who appreciate the good that women, especially working women, bring, and give them the opportunity to change at home and at work.

Patricia Iverson, like many women who lost their jobs or lost their jobs because of the plague, is now looking for a new job [File: Laurin Whitney Gottbrath/Al Jazeera]

It makes us a burden

By the time the epidemic broke out last April, about 3.5 million women with school-age children had stopped working, according to the US Census Bureau. As of March this year, an estimated 1.5 million fewer women were working harder than in February 2020, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Dawn Morgan Neary, 42, was one of them. Neary became the first victim of the epidemic on maternity leave. When he returned to his job as governor of Maryland in July, he was met with an opportunity to study with a team that had worked for a long time.

Although working from home gave her the opportunity to spend time with her daughter and baby boy, she says she was not allowed to have their children in the room at meetings and her boss was not comfortable working outside of business hours. So when she found her son, who had started crawling in the morning, wrapped in a rope under his desk in November, she knew it was time to stop.

“Since I started graduating when I was older, I got a lot less than my husband, it just made sense that I was the one who would retire,” Neary said.

It was painful for many women to endure, since mothers, especially blacks, Latina and Asian women, had a history of domestic work and child care.

It was only natural that I should resign

Dawn Morgan Neary, mother of two

“We’ve seen mostly women who choose not to go back to work, even if they can work far away … because they can’t do their jobs all the time and tired of everything that’s going on in their home,” said Diane Lim, Washington, DC. Economist Mom.

“That’s what made this ‘conspiracy’ so ‘self-serving,'” she said, quoting economists and journalists who have made a statement about the economic downturn that is affecting women.

When schools reopen and women are considering returning to work, Lim says he believes women will have “more demands on their jobs.”

Neary, for example, does not return to work until her children are vaccinated, but when she thinks about the options she has, she knows she wants to work part-time. This means, he says, changing his job to meet the needs of his family.

“I have to go back to work,” she said, adding that she was thinking about nursing. But in the meantime, “it is worth the sacrifice. I realize that I do not want to take my children back to the nursery. ”

We are at a crossroads

Amelia Costigan, Assistant

Progress lost?

Since the epidemic, about 33% of working women have decided to resign or quit their jobs, according to a recent study by McKinsey counselors.

This can have a detrimental effect on women’s development by closing the pay gap between men and women, as well as the benefits that can come from being well represented in leadership.

Even before the epidemic began, women had “motherhood penalties” in the labor market. According to the National Women Law Center (NWLC), Wednesday was “Women’s Day, which shows how old women are supposed to work to take over what men did last year.”

It did not make sense to be a few days a week

Patricia Iverson, a woman who quit her job due to the epidemic

Full-time working mothers earned $ 0.75 of every dollar paid to men in 2019, resulting in a total of $ 1,275 a month and a loss of $ 15,400 a year. The pay gap for women is even worse for black women. Latina women paid only $ 0.46, American women $ 0.50 and black women $ 0.52 per dollar paid to whites, non-Spanish.

However, “we could have said we had made progress,” before the epidemic, said Jess Huang, a McKinsey ally.

“If the mother comes out [of the workforce], if women go out, this could erase everything we have done in the last six years [since McKinsey has been tracking the issue], ”He said. “And this is a very big job, because we know that when companies have gender differences and if companies have top female executives … they are better than other companies and they are good for business.”

It is difficult for economists and others to motivate women in the workplace. But she also said the epidemic provided an opportunity to change the long-term injustices experienced by women in the workplace.

“I think we’re at a crossroads,” said Amelia Costigan, executive director of the Information Center in Catalyst, a nonprofit promoting women’s advancement in the workplace. “We can use this as a call to change and correct these mistakes or people, who are tired of a year and a half of COVID, can simply say,” Let’s go back to work, business as usual. “


There are already promising signs. The most recent COVID-19 package signed by President Joe Biden includes more than $ 39bn to support child care providers and makes childcare cheaper.

Biden has also requested a multi-billion dollar package that includes school fees, child care assistance, a national family and a medical holiday program and an increase in child tax debt. But the plan is in stark contrast to the Republicans.

At the same time, many say that companies need to do more to help working parents. These include helping to care for children, providing flexible work practices, redefining the outcomes of the harvest and creating opportunities for women and men who have left workers to return without losing any progress.

“I think the whole economy will change by realizing that we need to be more aware of how important our human potential is, and that nothing can grow the economy more than having more people,” said Lim, an economist. “It’s not hard to see … that we have to start with people as we grow and grow economically.”

For Iverson, a single woman in Kentucky, local organizations such as Black Lives Matter Louisville and Black Market have provided her with food and other necessities while she is looking for work.

The past year has been difficult, he says, but he is optimistic. Her advice to other women who have experienced this: “Lift your head. God loves y’all. Keep pushing.”

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