Women In the Workplace

Women Forced Out of Workforce During Pandemic

Roughly 2.5 million women left the workforce during the pandemic compared to 1.8 million men

NBC Universal, Inc.

Vice-President Kamala Harris recently said roughly 2.5 million women who have left the workforce since the beginning of the pandemic constituted a “national emergency.” That number, according to Labor Department data, compares with 1.8 million men who have left the workforce.

For many women, the demands of child care, distance learning, layoffs and furloughs has forced them out of the labor market.

As part of its $1.9 trillion relief plan, the Biden Administration has outlined elements to ease the burden on unemployed and working women. That includes $3,000 in tax credits issued to families for each child.

Researchers at the University of Arkansas and the Center for Economic and Social Research at the University of Southern California found that female employment began plummeting almost immediately after the pandemic took hold last spring.
Since then, they found, women have carried more of the weight than men when it came to child care.

NBC 7 spoke to San Diego moms, who are exhausted and pushed to the brink.

Carrie Kirby, a Del Cerro mom with two kids said, "Now you are not only a mom, but you are also a caregiver, also a teacher, and then doing everything you have to do around the house."

Autumn Francisco, a La Mesa mom with three kids said, "I think as women we do have a little bit more pressure on us."

Colleen Curtis works for The Mom Project.

"We don’t want to see gender equality in the workplace take a 20-year dive because moms stepped up and really rose to the challenge," she said.

As a mother herself, she knows the juggling act that millions of women do daily while balancing their careers and raising kids.

She says The Mom Project works directly with companies to analyze their benefits and how they treat women in the workplace. They give recommendations and companies a plan to attract and keep working mothers.

"What is really going to help moms are company policies that support them and allow them to continue their employment and get their careers back on track if that’s what they want. Plus, government policies that provide relief specific to the childcare industry which has been absolutely ravaged," She continued. "We all wanted remote work, what we did not want was kids running around asking for snacks right?"

Curtis says employers need to create opportunities for long-term economic security and mobility for women, and their families, calling moms "the backstop of America."

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