In August and September, more than a million people dropped out of the workforce. Eighty percent of them were women. Women have been losing jobs at a rate far higher than that of men throughout this recession, figures that can’t be entirely explained by industry effects. And it might get worse. One in four employed women (one in three mothers) are considering quitting or dialing back at work, according to McKinsey — the first time in six years of research that they’ve found any difference in men’s and women’s interest in quitting.
Working parents are especially feeling the crunch. A FlexJobs survey of working parents found that 25% of fathers and mothers had reduced their hours to cope with childcare demands. But women were much more likely than men (17% to 10%) to quit. While the pandemic has forced all parents to take on more housework and childcare, studies show mothers taking on the vast majority of it.