Working mothers are bearing the heaviest load during the 2020 pandemic, and the professional ramifications may last for years.
“Yes, you’ll see a big setback in the progress of women up the ladders. It’s gradually been increasing with some back and forth,” says Dr. Elizabeth Gregory, Director of Women’s and Sexuality Studies at the University of Houston. She says the problems have been at the top with national leadership failing to address the childcare needs of working women.
School plans, which often fall on moms to tend to, have been fluid at the start of fall, with schools switching back and forth from in-person to virtual classes as circumstances have changed, requiring working women to adjust work schedules accordingly. In the long haul, professionally, that’s going to have consequences and will reinforce a gender bias women have long fought in the workplace.
“This is an opportunity for dads to undo that gender bias. And also do half of the work, because if you have both parents working there is no reason that moms have to be the one to step out and care for kids,” Dr. Gregory adds.
While many aspects of normal life have been tossed askew by Covid, old stereotypes are being reinforced.