Women and Work in the Pandemic: A Second Shift Report

From the start, it was clear to us that Covid would have a major impact on our member community because we are working women, the majority of whom are married and have children under 18 years old (including our team). The destructive force of Covid on the lives of working women was confirmed by the recent Lean In/ McKinsey study of Women in the Workplace, which shows 1 in 4 women are considering downshifting or leaving the workforce because of the impact of Covid. Unfortunately this correlates to the trends we see within our community, so we surveyed you to find out why.


Here is what we learned:


Over the past year we tracked a decline in women applying for membership—in April 40% fewer women applied than the same month in 2019. That made sense to us because the world was shutting down and things were unstable. However, in August we saw 62% fewer applications for membership than the previous year. 


This led us to the same conclusion as the Lean In study—that childcare, remote schooling and uncertainty about planning anything in the near term is leading women away from the workforce. Our survey showed 47% of members say remote school is a major factor in their job choices and 56% say the same about childcare. 


The Lean In study found mothers spend 20+ hours a week (or half of a full-time job) on household chores and childcare. That could explain why more than 30% of our members say they passed up a job opportunity because of responsibilities related to Covid. 


All of this is to say that we feel you. The struggle to find work, along with anxiety about taking on anything new, is real. There is so much uncertainty right now but The Second Shift is here to provide projects that will keep you going through these turbulent times. There is good news too—we are seeing more jobs coming in every day. As clients see the benefit of remote work, we are ready to meet their hiring needs with an army of professional remote working pros! 


Thank you to everyone who took the time to fill out our member survey. We wish you all good health.