True to form for 2020, the end of the year brought about one last piece of bad news: in December, the US saw a net loss of 140,000 jobs. And if that wasn’t upsetting enough, the research further revealed that women actually lost 156,000 jobs while men gained 16,000 – meaning 100% of the net job losses belonged to women.
A Stalled Workforce
Before the pandemic, women were making huge strides in entering the workforce; once COVID hit, many women’s careers took a backseat, to take care of their families, or by job losses. Crain’s Detroit further dives into these losses:
The share of women between the ages of 25 and 54, so-called prime-age workers and those most likely to have young children at home, who were either employed or looking for a job, dropped to 73.5 percent in April from 76.9 percent before the pandemic (Source).
Many women have made the decision to leave the workforce, in order to balance their family lives with the demands of parenting through a global pandemic, when many children are being schooled online at home. The fact that this workforce exodus is happening with less frequency for men indicates we still have a long way to go in closing the wage gap and in ensuring the brunt of caregiving does not fall solely on women.
Employment Gaps at the Intersection of Race and Gender
It gets worse:: Black and Latinx women were hit the hardest by these job losses. The effect this will have on BIPOC families could be devastating. The Center for American Progress reports that “67.5 percent of Black mothers and 41.4 percent of Latina mothers were the primary or sole breadwinners for their families, compared with 37 percent of white mothers.” Not to mention, the intersection of race and gender creates cumulative barriers that women of color must face when job-seeking, from wage gaps to outright discrimination when interviewing.
The Women’s Initiative Network (WIN) is Angry— Rightfully
As Melinda Gates writes in Time, “COVID-19 has helped us see the failures of our social contract with new clarity, and all around the world, people are refusing to look away.” In fact, she goes on to write, in one survey nine out of ten people were hoping for a more “sustainable and equitable” world after we come out the other side of this pandemic.
Here at TripleLift the Women’s Initiative Network (WIN) is an employee resource group whose mission is to uplift and advocate for all women at TripleLift and in the broader community. We, too, want to see a more sustainable and equitable world, and we don’t want to wait to do it. As women who are privileged to have jobs during a time when people are facing terrible losses— and when women, especially women of color, are facing disproportionate losses— we wanted to turn our anger into action.
Every Meeting Will Make a Difference For These Women
This is why TripleLift is bringing back our Every Meeting Makes a Difference initiative.
TripleLift started Every Meeting Makes a Difference at the beginning of the pandemic to provide meals to frontline and clinic workers through World Central Kitchen. We saw enormous success with our partners who participated in meetings in an effort to drive meals for those who needed it most. This time, we are looking to support nonprofits focused on women’s employment in an effort to ensure the US does not repeat another December 2020 job report.
Now, for every meeting that clients take with TripleLifters we will donate to three charities to support women in and out of the workplace:
- Dress for Success Worldwide: a global nonprofit that empowers women to achieve economic independence by providing a network of support, professional attire and the development tools to help women thrive in work and in life.
- Global Fund for Women: uses powerful networks to find, fund, and amplify the courageous work of women who are building social movements and challenging the status quo. Since 1987, Global Fund for Women has invested in nearly 5,000 grassroots organizations in 175 countries, helping to win rights for millions of women and girls.
- AnitaB.org: envisions a future where the people who imagine and build technology mirror the people and societies for whom they build it. Their social enterprise supports women in technical fields, as well as the organizations that employ them and the academic institutions training the next generation.
Empathy without action can feel hopeless, so that’s why we’re taking action. This is just the beginning of a much larger conversation to have about protecting women’s career development while also removing barriers created by systemic inequity. WIN and TripleLift vow to continue to fight the good fight and listen for ways to create progressive, inclusive, and sustainable change. It starts with just one meeting.