Study warns COVID-19 could erase years of progress for working women


(CBS News) – A new study warns the coronavirus could erase years of progress for working women. The report from and McKinsey & Company found that one in four women said they were considering leaving the workforce or downshifting career goals because of COVID-19, far more than men.

“Women cannot be expected to live up to business-as-usual expectations right now. Nobody can,” says Rachel Thomas, co-founder and CEO of The report found many senior-level women are feeling burned out due to greater demands at work and at home.

Only one in three women of color said they heard from a manager about how they were be doing following recent racial violence. “We know that Black women who had an ally over the course of the pandemic are two and a half times more likely to see a fair workplace and to want to stay,” says Lareina Yee, chief diversity and inclusion officer and McKinsey & Company.

The study finds women also face a caregiving crisis during COVID-19, with mothers three times as likely as fathers to be responsible for childcare.

Kate Orr was a third-grade teacher before she quit her job at an elementary school to care for her four month old. “It’s just human nature as a mother to want to do what’s best for your family,” she says.

When the pandemic hit, Kanisha Mayweather left a job as a warehouse associate because of safety concerns. “I have a one year old. She has breathing issues, and I also have a 13 year old. She has a rare type of cancer, and so I really had to leave my job because of them,” she says.

Researchers suggest employers take bold steps during the pandemic to create a more flexible and fair workplace for women and men, and set clear goals to ensure all employees feel supported.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


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