These workers struggle hardest with the ‘pandemic effect’

Here's why more women are opting out of the workforce

These workers struggle hardest with the ‘pandemic effect’

Most women in charge of looking after their young family are hesitant to return to work immediately. Nearly 70% of women in the workforce are planning to put their career or job search on hold in order to stay home and be a full-time caregiver, a new survey revealed.

This is the so-called “pandemic effect,” preventing women from advancing in their careers. “While both genders have yet to reach pre-COVID levels of optimism when it comes to their job search, it’s clear that women overall have felt less optimistic about job seeking than men throughout this tumultuous year,” said analysts from TopResume, which led the study.

Read more: Despite bleak job market, these workers remain hopeful

After all, the sectors hardest hit by business closures and lockdowns – such as retail, hospitality and tourism – hired a predominantly female workforce. “In addition, women have had to navigate the stress and time-management challenges of taking on the role of teacher and child-care provider while attempting to work or find work during quarantine,” analysts said.

About a third of surveyed women (31%) said they planned to join the workforce in the next 12 months. However, more than half of women still employed (55%) said they are keen to “voluntarily leave their jobs” if given a choice. Women who were forced out of work during the pandemic either lost their job because of the downturn (30%) or had to choose their family over their career (70%).

Read more: The cost of a bad hire is rising

“The pandemic continues to wreak havoc on people’s careers, but no one has been hit harder than working mothers, which is especially distressing since over a year has passed and the outlook should be more promising,” said TopResume career expert Amanda Augustine. “Our latest findings reveal the next stage of workforce impact: Not only have working women left their jobs in droves, but nearly three out of four have no intention of returning any time soon – a grim outlook for employers who are ramping up for a post-pandemic workplace

“If employers want to reap the benefits that come with having a gender-balanced organization (i.e. increased profitability, creativity, and innovation), then they will need to commit to providing benefits and implementing programs that better accommodate and support mothers in the workplace,” Augustine said.

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