Women Are Leaving The Workforce, & It's a Problem

Like most people, I’ve gotten into listening to podcasts, and one of the podcasts that I listen to is called the NPR News Hour. In one of the episodes, the news reporter talked about the effects the pandemic had on the workforce. The reporter said something about women specifically that I found interesting, so I searched it up. In doing so, I found a lot of interesting articles, like “Why Did Hundreds of Thousands of Women Drop Out of the Work Force?” from The New York Times and “How COVID-19 Sent Women’s Workforce Progress Backward” from the Center for American Progress.

After reading up this issue, here’s what I learned:

  1. The pandemic was hard on everybody — mentally and physically. This is especially true for women, because schools closing forced them to reconsider their priorities. Should they focus on maintaining the household now that everyone is back home? Should they focus on working because this is their job? Should they try and help their kids that are in school? Many had to take on multiple roles in order to help those around them. One of the responsibilities that many moms now have is being a teacher to their (younger) children. They have to learn the material and then teach it to their child while also making sure they get their own work done. Because of how taxing all of this is, many (women) are leaving their jobs in order to take over childcare responsibilities. 

  2. Many articles talked about how entering back into the workforce is never a given. For instance, one’s family may have become dependent on the position that the moms have taken up during this pandemic. In general, it is hard for people to get a job as technology and knowledge change quite frequently in various fields. A lot of childcare facilities have disappeared because of COVID-19. Some may never come back, and others may take a long time to return. This may cause women to continue to stay at home and take care of their children rather than entering the workforce. Adding all of this together, it seems like the percentage of women in the labor force will take a long time to reach the level it was previous to the pandemic, and the gender wage gap may also see the same effects.

I hope that this is seen as a significant problem and that steps are being taken or (at the very least) being planned to be taken to ensure that working women don’t have to take a huge step back. There is so much more to this story than what I’ve told, which is why I suggest reading up on the topic

For now, stay informed and safe!