Feb 2023-“The Effect of COVID-19 on Women’s Employment and Their Work Life Balance”

Tuesday, February 28, 2023, 12:00-1:30 pm via Zoom
Registration Link

Gender equality in women’s employment was dealt a blow by COVID-19. While female participation in the labor force picked up after the pandemic’s worst phase in 2020, it still remains under threat from risks that, if left unaddressed, could wash away the progress made in gender equality in the past decade. (Deloitte Insight, January 2022)

This meeting addressing COVID’s impact on women’s employment will be hosted by CWI’s, Dr. Alotta Taylor, Jeanette Lim Esbrook, Esq. and Ms. Sherry Klein.

COVID-19’s economic impact resulting in the widening gender disparity in the labor market has been a major worry. However, (Deloitte Insight, January 2022) stated with the pickup in economic activity since the second half of 2020 and a significant increase in the scale and pace of vaccinations around the world in 2021, female employment has recovered some of the lost ground. Yet this recovery isn’t without risks. Moreover, in countries where women have traditionally lagged far behind men, returning to the job market after losing out in 2020 may prove harder for mothers who took up extensive childcare responsibilities during the pandemic. And as government aid fizzles out in many parts of the world, single parents will find it even more difficult to keep up with childcare and other household expenses. COVID also increased the viability of virtual work, but little is known about it’s positive or negative impact on women.

This meeting will be informed by the following speakers who will present information on the impact of COVID-19 on women’s employment and how return to work can be furthered by attention to policies such as increases in child-care options, virtual work options, and paid family leave.

Julie Vogtman (she/her), Director of Job Quality & Senior Counsel for the National Women’s Law Center (NWLC). Vogtman will provide an overview of 3 years of COVID including a survey she made about a year ago at the 2-yr. mark. The topics of impact on women and employment include: Caregiving, finances, economic impact, policy solutions including family paid leave.

At NWLC, Julie engages in research, policy analysis and advocacy, and public education to advance federal and state policies that benefit both women in low-paid jobs and their families, including higher wages, fair work scheduling practices, and childcare assistance. She has written extensively about women and the economy and the factors contributing to racial and gender pay disparities, including as a co-author of NWLC’s March 2022 report, Resilient But Not Recovered: After Two Years of the COVID-19 Crisis, Women Are Still Struggling. Julie Vogtman was quoted February 12, 2023 in a Washington Post article on women returning to work, “We are certainly seeing some very positive signs in the economy, but there are still disparities, both in and who is back to work and who is getting the best jobs,” referring to challenges such as paid sick leave and more affordable child care, that affect women of color and those with lower levels of education and income.

Prior to joining NWLC in 2010, Julie was an associate with Covington & Burling LLP in Washington, DC. She is a magna cum laude graduate of Georgetown University Law Center, where she served as an editor for the Georgetown Journal on Poverty Law & Policy, and holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Furman University.

Allison Wolff will discuss the impact of balancing working as a professional remotely with family and childcare responsibilities. As the Web Program Manager for NASA’s Space Operations and Exploration Systems Development Mission Directorates, Ms. Wolff is responsible for managing application development projects and operates as an advisor for Enterprise-level application governance and policy boards. She is a pragmatic innovator and works diligently to foster a culture of collaboration, diversity, and empowerment. Ms. Wolff implemented numerous successful initiatives at NASA including the Enterprise Platform approach for the Office of the Chief Information Officer, a data-driven business architecture for the Center of Excellence for Collaborative Innovation and NASA IT Labs which was awarded FedScoop’s Federal IT Program of the Year and recognized as a finalist for the ACT-IAC Excellence.gov award for Enterprise Efficiency. Ms. Wolff was named a Computerworld Innovation Laureate, a NextGov Bold Award Finalist for Tech Innovation and was selected as a FedScoop 50 Most Inspiring Up & Comer in 2020. While NASA is her passion, her first love is her family. She approaches each day striving to make the world a better place for her three daughters and hopes to be an
exemplary leader in promoting work-life balance with a personal emphasis on physical and emotional wellness. She will share insights on NASA’s current and planned policies on virtual work and its impact on women.

Sarah Jane (SJ) Glynn, Senior Advisor, Women’s Bureau, US Department of Labor, co-authored a report issued by the DOL on the impact of COVID19 on women’s employment, visible here: Bearing the Cost. We hope she will be able to report on current and future federal policies on virtual versus in person work and its impact on women.

From the DOL website:

Sarah Jane (SJ) Glynn serves as a senior advisor for the Women’s Bureau. She is a labor sociologist and policy analyst with experience working at the national, state, and local level. Prior to joining the Department of Labor, SJ was a senior fellow with the Women’s Initiative at the Center for American Progress, where she previously held the role of director of women’s economic policy. SJ has spent her career researching and working to advance policies that help support employment and economic security for women and caregivers, including paid family and medical leave, paid sick days, workplace flexibility, and pay equity. Before beginning her career in policy work, SJ was an adjunct lecturer in sociology at Vanderbilt and Belmont universities. 

SJ received her bachelor’s degree in women’s studies with a concentration in LGBTQ studies from UCLA and her doctorate degree in sociology from Vanderbilt University. 

Here are some related resources on the topic:

Next CWI Zoom Noon Meeting: Tue. March 21 on DC Women’s  History Museums and Attractions