Women’s History Month this March marks the culmination of a year that has pushed one in five American women out of the workforce–but change could be on the way.
Women’s workforce participation has dropped to 57 percent — the lowest rate since 1988— and all of the American jobs lost in December were held by women, specifically Black and Latina women.
Both men and women recognize the disproportionate impact on women— from unemployment to the demands of virtual learning and caregiving needs— according to a discussion among panelists from FGH’s proprietary online community, TrendSpotters.
Furthermore, concerns cut across party lines. Both Democrats and Republicans are concerned about the pandemic’s long-term impact in terms of widening the pay gap and making it more difficult for women to reenter the workforce and advance in their careers.
Republicans tend to say reopening schools will help address these issues now, while Democrats focus on long-term policy solutions like tax credits and employer-sponsored programs for childcare.
Relief may be in sight.
- The CDC has offered updated guidance for reopening schools, and one recent survey of human resources departments indicates a whopping 98% of employers plan to expand their benefits.
- The American Rescue Package will provide child care assistance and temporarily expand child tax credits.
- Paid leave is not included in the bill but could have the potential to help the economy grow as much as 5%, according to one study.