The pandemic shutdowns forced millions of women to leave the workforce, due to factors such as loss of work, school closures, and loss of childcare.
Now, as the economy stabilizes and labour sectors reopen, the numbers of women in the workforce are back to pre-pandemic levels. In fact, according to Insider, almost 78% of women between the ages of 25 and 54 are currently in the labour force. Insider columnist Aki Ito says this number surpasses the earlier peak in 2000, with the biggest gains being “women in their 30s—the age when college-educated women often start having children, prompting them to scale back or quit their jobs.”
What made this possible? Remote and hybrid work.
Why This Matters
It’s not hyperbole to say remote work has transformed the job market.
The increased availability of flexible roles makes it possible for mothers with young children to hold jobs and raise their families. By staying in the labour force, women have better access to promotions, increased earning potential, and a larger presence at the executive level.
However, this progress could be threatened by corporate America’s push to force employees to return to the office. Without the flexibility of working from home, many women with young children may be forced to give up their jobs. Even if they’re allowed to work from home, they could be penalized in other ways, since bosses tend to disproportionately reward the employees they see in the office every day with better assignments, higher raises, and promotions.
Click here to learn more about why remote work is so important to women with young children, and how to increase women’s participation in the labour force.