13 Mar Working Moms: Post Pandemic
By Marsha Mitchell, Director of Communications
March 12th, National Working Moms Day, celebrates the women who bring home the bacon AND those who fry it up in the pan. Because let’s face it, every mom is a working mom. This year, we focus on moms returning to the workplace after weathering the COVID-19 pandemic.
Over two million women who left the workforce when the pandemic struck are slowly returning to paid employment. That’s just half of the total number of women who left. The titles returning range from executives, retail sales, and educators to public service workers. Of those who left full-time employment during COVID-19, about one-third of women aged 25-44 cited that childcare was the reason for that unemployment. At the time, Forbes reported that women were reducing their working hours at a rate four to five times greater than men, ostensibly to manage a household where everything from daycare, school, elder care, and work all take place under the same roof.
In 2021, women comprised an estimated 44 percent of the workforce and 41 percent of managers. Despite having representation at the management level, working moms were more likely than dads to say they needed to reduce their work hours because of parenting responsibilities (34% vs. 26%). They were also more likely to report being treated as if they weren’t committed to their work because they have children (19% vs. 11%). Other reasons cited for the slow return to work include gender bias, mental and physical harassment, job insecurity, and unequal pay. In 2022, women earned an estimated 82 cents for every dollar men made (an overall pay gap of 18 cents on the dollar). And aspects of the gender bias that women reported manifest in the following ways:
- little or no paid family leave after giving birth or adopting a child
- insufficient maternity leave
- lingering employer reticence to offer breastfeeding support or flexible schedules
- workplace discrimination against new parents, especially mothers
- finding affordable, quality child care (especially for newborns)
With numbers and stats like these, it’s no wonder half the women who left the workplace during the pandemic have decided to remain home working to raise their families. Community Coalition and the Make LA Whole Coalition continue to demand that the city create a community investment fund that would support guaranteed basic income, childcare, and senior centers, housing security/ housing supports, utility relief, and other family care priorities that will help all working moms—those who work inside and outside of the home.
Ways businesses can work to empower mothers in the workplace:
- Encourage flexible work arrangements. One thing the pandemic showed us is that we can ALL do the work of work from home.
- Promote workplace policies that support families. Happy working mothers contribute to the overall morale of your company.
- Support professional development opportunities for mothers. Moms are natural leaders. Investing in their professional development will give you significant ROI.
- Encourage networking and mentorship opportunities for mothers. It demonstrates that the employer values the mentee and is willing to invest in them; and shows the mentor that their knowledge is valued.
- Promote workplace cultures that value families. People work hard for companies that respect their families.
Call To Action #WorkingMomsDay
Working Moms Day is an opportunity to appreciate a working mom.
- Frequent a business owned and operated by a working mom. Supporting a small business owned by a working mom means you are supporting a working mom’s family and your community.
- Join Moms First, an organization working to transform America’sAmerica’s workplaces, culture, and government to enable moms to thrive.
- Take over meal duties for the evening. Any working parent knows mealtime is one of the most stressful times of the day. Your effort will be appreciated.