Employers and policymakers play a crucial role in ensuring that women are not unnecessarily disadvantaged when they have children. Policies such as access to family leave, job protection, and childcare options can play a large role.
The pandemic gave managers a window into the struggles of working women. What will they do with this information? Will they accommodate women by making exceptions to their established norms? Or will they do the harder work of remaking their culture so women are no longer the exception?
The economic downturn during the pandemic is affecting women workers measurably more than men. There were 2.2 million fewer women in the labor force in October 2020 than there were last October. Investing in childcare and expanding labor laws could keep women employed and buoy the entire economy.
Added to long-standing challenges such as securing child care and combating pay disparities, the economic downturn due to the COVID-19 pandemic has hit women workers measurably harder than men. The consequences highlight just how much policy has failed to keep up with women's progress.
For years, the U.S. Defense Department dismissed workplace flexibility as being incompatible with national security. But during the pandemic, flexibility became a matter of survival for all employers, including Defense. The question now is whether it will keep recent adaptations or go back to its rigid ways.
Reopening schools would provide much-needed child care for parents who need to work, help feed 30 million U.S. children, and prevent further inequitable learning losses. But it also means exposing more kids to the virus. How can families and employers prepare for the disruptions that lie ahead?
Being a working parent was hard enough before the pandemic. If COVID-19 intensifies the perception that parenting is at odds with work, then there may be devastating career consequences for working mothers.
As some workplaces start to reopen and work-from-home guidelines relax, corporate leaders may hope things will quickly get back to normal. But for employees who are also caregivers, that's likely not going to be the case.
American families want greater choices in determining how their work and their families fit together. Post-pandemic, can we create a system that fits workers? If so, we have the opportunity to emerge from this crisis with both healthier employees and better performing organizations.
To help inform policy decisions that could help working parents affected by COVID-19, we examined the U.S. Department of Labor's Current Population Survey and recent coronavirus relief acts. Our review shows us what aid working parents might expect and what kinds of aid policymakers might consider going forward.
Many families in the European Union struggle to balance their professional and domestic responsibilities. Harmony between work and home could be an important way to help children and adults and promote a more prosperous society at large. More action could be taken to support work-life balance for working parents.
The work-life balance proposal has a chance of having an impact on the labor markets and welfare systems in Europe. However, given the variation in policies across member states and levels of political support among key stakeholders, the proposal may end up stuck in negotiations.
Any policy solution for extending maternity leave must strike a balance between protecting infant health through extended breastfeeding and mitigating any potentially negative impact on the mother's career progression or increased costs to business.
Single parents head 10.4 percent of households with children across Europe — 20.4 percent in the UK — and the socioeconomic gap between single- and two-parent households continues to grow. Accessible and flexible work policies are needed to improve employment conditions for single parents, especially mothers.
The EU will fail to meet the Europe 2020 Strategy target of having 75 percent of people between the ages of 20 and 64 in work unless enough women are encouraged to enter, or remain in, the workforce. Here are seven factors the new EU Commissioners responsible for gender equality and employment must address.