- Female professionals reported a much more negative working experience than their male counterparts during the pandemic, according to the June 24 results of a study by the Mom Project. In fact, women were nearly twice as likely as men to report plans to leave their jobs within the next year, the study revealed. The survey included responses from 2,000 U.S. professionals.
- It also cited U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data reporting that "approximately 60 percent of the jobs eliminated in the first wave of pandemic-induced layoffs were held by women." The report also concluded that female respondents scored approximately 20% lower than men on "socio-emotional wellbeing measures, such as Social Connectedness." They also rated their experiences with organizational leadership 33% worse than men and anticipated being less productive due to the circumstances surrounding the pandemic.
- Being a parent correlated with a negative pandemic work experience, as well. Parents of one child were 10% more likely than non-parents and parents of two or more children to say they planned to leave their employer within a year.
The novel coronavirus shone a spotlight on the caregiving crisis plaguing U.S. professionals, disproportionately women. But that's not to say the challenge didn't exist before the virus' stateside arrival.
Working mothers with caregiving duties face isolation, loneliness and stress in greater proportion than their male caregiving or non-caregiving counterparts, according to the results of a WebMD Health Services survey released earlier this year. Many respondents said they want their employers to "help them better manage these issues."
Some employers have delivered. Several visible employers — Smucker, Chipotle and Levi's among them — announced or expanded paid parental leave policies within the last year. Other employers have gone to even greater, more creative lengths. The state of Vermont, for example, launched an "Infants in the Workplace" program this winter, which allows approved state employees to bring their newborns to work.
The pandemic has motivated at least a handful of employers to address paid family leave as closures left parents and other caregivers with a dire, indefinite lack of paid care. And, of course, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act generally requires employers with fewer than 500 employees to provide paid leave to employees affected by pandemic-driven childcare issues.