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How the Coronavirus Pandemic Places a Greater Burden on Working Women

52 min
at 10:00 AM
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Real estate agent Aracelis Bonet, 50, home schools her son Adam Martinez, 14, who is affected by severe autism, in their Orlando home on October 1, 2020. As the pandemic rages in the United States, Aracelis Bonet has had to make a choice between her job and caring for her autistic son. The Orlando, Florida, woman decided to largely put on hold her job as a real estate agent to make sure her 14-year-old son had the constant care he needs. She now works at most 15 hours a week, resulting in a big drop in income. (GIANRIGO MARLETTA/AFP via Getty Images)

Women dropped out of the U.S. workforce at a rate eight times higher than men last month, according to CNN. Meanwhile, a recent report from McKinsey and Lean.org found that one in four women are considering downshifting their careers or leaving the workforce due to Covid-19. Women in service industries have seen their jobs disappear, while those who are able to work from home are struggling to shoulder more responsibilities. Many of the pressures women already face in the workforce such as the gender pay gap, barriers to advancement and lack of flexibility have been exacerbated by the pandemic. Some experts warn that the pandemic could wipe out hard-won progress women have made in leadership and wages over past years. The crisis could, however, usher in new policies, standards and support systems for women across industries and income levels. We’ll talk with experts about how working women are faring during the pandemic and how to address the challenges.

Working women: we want to hear how the pandemic has impacted your career and life? Has the pandemic caused you to drop out of the workforce? If applicable, how have you managed your work and family obligations?Leave a voicemail with your story at 415 553-3300 or email us at forum@kqed.org. Your story may end up being played or read on air during Friday’s show.

Guests:

Alexis Krivkovich, senior partner, McKinsey; co-author, "Women in the Workplace 2020 report"

Angelica Perez-Litwin, clinical psychologist and founder of Latinas Think Big, a network of professional women, and Lumin, a modern psychotherapy practice

Surina Khan, chief executive officer, Women's Foundation California

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