- Black and Latina women continue to disproportionately struggle with the effects of the pandemic on the job market, according to a Feb. 10 study by WerkLabs, the data and insights division of The Mom Project. One-third of Black mothers and one-fourth of Latina mothers said they were unable to work remotely during the pandemic, compared to only one-tenth of both White and Asian mothers.
- Twice as many mothers of color said they feel their workplaces are testing to see which employees persist through the pandemic; women of color were also more likely to report that workplaces assume work from home equates to "more time for work," despite competing priorities of childcare and work.
- "As a mom of color I feel like there's an expectation that we have to be strong … that we have to be resilient," according to one respondent to the survey. "And, while I agree with that to an extent, it's exhausting being resilient all the time."
From the onset of the pandemic, research has shown that the economic effects of shutdowns have "disproportionately" devastated women of color. Job losses for women outpaced job losses for men in the hardest hit industries, and Black and Hispanic workers tended to be overrepresented at these jobs, too, according to research from Pew Research Center.
"Instead of creating an economy where women and people of color can fully participate, we are entering a new crisis that may exclude working parents, especially working mothers, and reverse the gains we've made in women's lib across the nation over [several] generations," Tina Tchen, CEO of Time's Up Foundation, said on an August 2020 panel hosted by The Brookings Institution.
That disproportionate effect extended through the December 2020 jobs report, where it was reported that women lost 156,000 jobs while men gained 16,000, according to National Women's Law Center's analysis.
Employers can help, experts have said, by allowing flexibility and not view it as detrimental to any employee’s career to exercise the option. But for workers who do need to step back, employers can assist by helping women create a "return-to-work document" to ensure they can showcase their achievements when they return to the workforce, Nancy Wang, founder and CEO of Advancing Women in Product and head of data protection services at Amazon Web Services, previously told HR Dive.
"It's almost like inserting a bookmark in your career, so that you can pick up where you left off," she said.