A new report from Bloomberg has highlighted the devastating impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on Black and Hispanic women. The new report states that 10% of Black and Hispanic women have remained unemployed during the pandemic. In May, unemployment among Black women reached as high as 16.5%.
Throughout, the report points to a number of reasons why Black and Hispanic women may be disproportionately impacted by a pandemic. Prior to the pandemic, Black and Hispanic people were paid less on average than their white counterparts. Furthermore, women were being paid less on average in most industries than their male colleagues. Also, the pandemic has eliminated in-person learning for many children across the map. In most parts of the country, women have reportedly been more likely to stay home with children learning at home than men. Adding on, 94% of the child care industry is made up of women.
“We just cannot get out of this — the hole that we’re in — in any reasonable way, without doing huge scarring, without a much stronger care infrastructure,” Heidi Shierhol of the Economic Institute Policy said.
The pandemic's effect has largely erased advancements that had been made in portions of the workplace. Prior to the pandemic, the Bureau of Labor Statistics found that the gap between women’s and men’s workforce participation in the 25-54 age range was at its lowest. Wells Fargo and Co. Senior Economist Sarah House added that while the pandemic has hurt the ability of Black and Hispanic women to get raises and promotions.
“Flexibility comes at a cost,” House said.
“You’re not in the room.”
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