As has been well-documented during this pandemic, women and men interact with the economy differently. Because of occupational segregation and caregiving obligations, women have been forced out of the workforce at a higher rate than men. For new full-employment policies to serve women, they must proactively address these and other obstacles.
The pandemic is undoing decades of progress, reinforcing a breadwinner/homemaker division of labor for all too many women. When rising divorce rates get added to the mix, history teaches us the combination can be volatile.
Women’s labor force participation rate has dropped during the pandemic, driven both by disproportionate layoffs and quits. Many women are foregoing career advancement opportunities because there are no childcare options.
We have to start planning now to help women reenter the workforce and pickup their careers when the pandemic ends.