I’m a mom and I work, What’s your Superpower?

Mother’s Day is approaching and in addition to celebrating it, we think of all the women who commute to the office, do home office, or are full-time moms. Whatever the case may be, being a mom is the most exhausting and the most beautiful experience at the same time.

We didn’t want to say it again, but the pandemic was a watershed for everyone in every way. In 2021, many U.S. workers quit their jobs, the phenomenon recognized as “The Great Resignation” reached its peak in September when 4.4 million people voluntarily left their jobs. Most impressive for employers and employees was that a large number of working mothers left the labor market.

Between March and April 2021, 3.5 million mothers with school-age children stopped working in various ways, either by going on paid or unpaid leave, losing their jobs, or leaving the labor market for good, according to figures from census.gov.

The pandemic underscored the career challenges of working moms: Millions dropped out of the workforce, and many felt burned out or stalled in their careers while struggling to manage housework, homeschooling, and childcare.

The state of working moms

The state of working moms is shifting. Let’s take a closer look at what the data says about the state of working moms pre-pandemic and today.

At the onset of the pandemic, the proportion of mothers actively working declined more than that of fathers. Mothers declined 21.1 percentage points, while the proportion of fathers fell 14.7 points in April 2020, compared to the previous month and the same month a year earlier.

The two most cited reasons are:

Mothers are more likely to work in service and other jobs heavily impacted by pandemic closures.

Mothers carry a heavier burden, on average, of unpaid domestic household chores and childcare, which, during a pandemic that draws everyone into the home, disrupts parents’ ability to actively work for pay.

Everyone thinks being a stay-at-home mom full-time is easy.

School closings forced millions of mothers to leave their jobs to care for their children at home. Mothers of children under 5 years old and single mothers were the most affected.

 

Women are more burned out—and more so than men

Women are even more burned out than they were a year ago, and the gap in burnout between women and men has almost doubled.

In the past year, 1 in 3 women has considered leaving the workforce or downshifting their careers—a significant increase from 1 in 4 in the first few months of the pandemic.

A study of U.S. labor participation during the pandemic by economists at the Chicago Federal Reserve showed not only that working mothers were hardest hit during this crisis, but the gigantic gap showed that men with children were least affected by the economic slowdown.

Unfortunately, the pandemic revealed those shortages that already existed. When schools closed, when the pandemic hit; having to take care of the children, the house, or sick or elderly parents, all of that fell on women’s shoulders.

 

In addition to these setbacks, there is the gender gap.

The global gender gap – the time it would take for women to reach parity with men in economics, education, healthcare, and politics – jumped from 99.5 years in 2020 to more than 135 years in 2021, according to the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report 2021. At that rate, we will not begin to see true gender equality.

Workplace inequalities faced by working mothers also need to be addressed. Childcare leave should be equitable for men and women to encourage men to take on some of the work of caregiving.

In the same way, ensuring that caregiving tasks are not prejudiced for professional promotion, but a respected job that is part of life itself and the fact of being a woman and a mother.

Along the same lines, the social network LinkedIn has recently added several new job titles, including “housewife”, not only for caregiving mothers to give their full image, but also to normalize something that is already normal and for employers to accept that being a mother is not a negative consequence of life for their companies.

We should value mothers not only because it is the right thing to do, but because it will also help strengthen our economies and societies. Increasing gender parity in the workplace could increase global GDP by $13 trillion by 2030, according to McKinsey estimates.

 

Sources:
www.washingtonpost.com
www.catalyst.org
www.weforum.org

 

 

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