Inside: Guest post from Mint.com on the impact of COVID-19 and the economic downturn on women and how women can protect their futures.
COVID-19 brought record unemployment numbers and financial difficulties for families globally, but early data showed that women were the most vulnerable. Previous economic declines were most felt by men, so the huge job losses for working women prompted the nickname “she-cession.”
Why Were Working Women Impacted More Than Men?
Why are women worse off this year? Well, historically men have held a majority of U.S. jobs, especially in management positions. This, combined with the job losses being closely tied to the stock market and banking, meant that the jobs being lost were mostly held by men.
This year, a global pandemic caused recreation, service, and education industries to shut down. These industries account for 47 percent of jobs held by American women, causing 11.5 million women to lose their jobs.
Additionally, as schools and daycares closed families were forced to find ways to care for their children at home. Women are statistically more likely to take up these roles and quit their jobs to care for their families. Even women who continued working are more likely to pick up the childcare slack—balancing work, home, and children at once.
How to Bounce Back from the She-Cession
Prior to the pandemic, women were making huge gains in career and wage equity. In December 2019, women held more salary positions than men for the first time ever. Women are also earning college and graduate degrees more than men, and women’s representation in leadership positions had grown 29 percent in 2019.
This all means that despite the setback, women will recover and continue to increase representation and equality across industries and positions. Part of that recovery will be employers stepping up to support working women and another part will mean an equal division of labor at home so that women who want to continue their careers have the capacity to do so.
Another piece though will be women taking control of their own careers and finances by educating themselves, seeking guidance, and creating safety nets and backup plans for a more secure future.
Check out this advice from Mint on how to manage your financial future and propel your career.
Becca, here again, to close things out! When Mint reached out and shared this graphic on the she-cession I knew it had to get into your hands. Why? Because financial literacy is not one of my natural strengths and I’ve had to do my homework and rely on professionals along the way. That’s a HUGE part of protecting your career and everything you’ve built.
I’m still learning my way in financial literacy so I’d love for us to learn together. Check out resources from Mint like I’m doing, find local professionals you trust, and control what you can control during this challenging time. Also, if you have great tips around financial literacy please share them below. A rising tide lifts all boats.