The Risk for Women and Minorities as Offices Reopen

| June 25, 2020 | 2 min read
Why offices reopening hurts working mothers and parents of color

Economic disasters like the COVID pandemic often impact the most vulnerable and exacerbate differences that already exist — and it’s no different for working mothers. As offices reopen, what will happen to working mothers and caregivers who don’t have a place for their children to go, or are nervous about the safety of child care? 

 

What reopening offices means for the opportunity gap

A recent study we conducted indicates that as offices reopen, more than one in ten parents or caregivers with office jobs are considering quitting. It gets worse. Minorities surveyed were twice as likely to say they are considering quitting than white parents.

This is a problem that affects the opportunity gap we see today. Working mothers and especially working mothers of color are typically the ones who in charge of child care responsibilities in their families. The reopening of offices could spell trouble for many families’ economic security.

 

Missing mothers and parents in the post-COVID workforce

What will happen when offices reconvene with fewer caregivers and minority parents? The challenges will be overt and subtle with women’s careers taking the biggest hit. 

Working mothers are the most at risk of leaving their jobs in order to stay home and provide child care for their families. Gender wage gap statistics show us that working mothers make 75 cents for every dollar a working father makes, with mothers of color facing an even steeper wage gap of 52 cents.

 

Working mothers, working from home with kids

In our “Working from Home with Kids” series, we discussed how women and particularly women of color are spending more time caretaking while men are spending more time working — and women’s careers may take a hit because of it.

What happens when this dynamic is brought back to the physical workspace, with men in the office and women trying to keep up virtually from home? t’s up to employers to offer solutions to ensure that the opportunity gap doesn’t expand in their workplaces for working mothers and parents of color.

We explore this very important topic in our survey, linked below, which explores and investigates how office reopenings impact employees based on gender and race.

 

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