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Negative Effects of the Pandemic on Employees – Particularly Women and Working Moms

July 24, 2020

By Heather Nezich, courtesy of SBAM Approved Partner ASE

The Coronavirus pandemic has caused adverse effects across all aspects of life, particularly the economy, and women are some of the hardest hit, according to new research conducted by WerkLabs, the insights division of The Mom Project.

Women reported they are twice as likely than their male counterparts to leave their employer in a year’s time due to their workplace experience during the pandemic in the survey of approximately 2,000 professionals across the U.S.

That number is deeply connected to workplace satisfaction during the pandemic with women scoring an average of 15 points lower than men on all drivers, meaning their work experience was more negative.

The impact of COVID-19 continues to leave many struggling, particularly working moms, who are trying to juggle day-to-day lives and childcare on top of their careers. The economic impact of working moms’ Coronavirus-related anxiety is estimated at $341 billion. Not only are women and working moms balancing a plethora of responsibilities, they are also fearing for their jobs — approximately 60% of the jobs eliminated in the first wave of pandemic-induced layoffs were held by women.

Of the professionals surveyed, more than one-third (38%) reported both their work and well-being have been impacted by the Coronavirus pandemic. Many participants who volunteered to offer more information on how the pandemic has impacted them and/or their work experience note that leadership believes because social activities are lessened or nonexistent as a result of the pandemic, the employee has more time for work and thus can handle a larger workload—regardless of work-life balance or other responsibilities like childcare.

“Life as we know it has changed, yet my company is trying to act as though everything is status quo,” one professional surveyed said. “They’re pushing for greater outcomes because we are all working from home, with no consideration for what that means, not to mention the stress of this situation.”

With the lines between parenthood and career blurred indefinitely as a result of the pandemic and various shelter-in-place and stay-at-home orders and mandates, parents need greater support now more than ever. More than 50% of working parents are currently without childcare, and 1 in 5 working parents said either they or their partner are considering leaving the workforce to care for their children.

Full-time working mothers in two-parent households average 22 hours of childcare per week during the current climate while maintaining their jobs. Married men provide an average of 7.2 hours of childcare per week compared to 10.3 hours for married women, among those employed full-time.

“The pandemic has forced an unprecedented rapid shift in workplace culture and it’s important we understand and address the positives and negatives of this change because this may be the ‘new normal’ moving forward, or at least for an indefinite time,” said Dr. Pamela Cohen, President of WerkLabs.

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