The Covid-19 pandemic has taken an especially heavy toll on women around the world. By January 2021, nearly 3 million women had dropped out of the workforce in the U.S. alone. Worldwide, women lost more than 64 million jobs and at least $800 billion in earnings last year. As a result, the time it will take to close the global gender pay gap has increased from 99.5 years to 135.6 years, according to the World Economic Forum.
The issues are achingly familiar: inadequate childcare, the double shift of managing work and home, stress, a lack of opportunities, low pay and more. In many cases, Covid merely amplified that burden to the point that many women left.
And yet from this devastating crisis has come some of the most meaningful signs of progress. Congress is debating support for childcare and eldercare. Remote work has grown from being a perk to a priority. While the talent shortage is making it harder to find caregivers, it’s also enabling smart employers to make their efforts to promote and support women a magnet for attracting talent.
Read on, and see the list.