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The pandemic has had a disproportionate impact on women, as it exacerbated many of the challenges they already faced, forcing many to leave the workforce, with caregiving obligations playing a large role.
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A new GOBankingRates survey found that 27% of women say that the biggest career obstacle is taking time off for caregiving and lack of affordable child care. Not surprisingly, the respondents in the 18 to 44 age group represented the bulk of these respondents.
To put the phenomenon in context, 2 out of every 3 caregivers in the United States are women, meaning they provide daily or regular support to children, adults or people with chronic illnesses or disabilities, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Employers Need To Do More To Support These Women
Ronni Zehavi, CEO of HR tech platform HiBob, told GOBankingRates that many organizations are focused on women in the workplace now because of Women’s History Month, but it’s important for companies to consider the unique challenges women face at work year-round, not just in March.
“If we truly want to fill all of the open roles in today’s job market, we have to make returning to work easier for women — both those with children and those without. The fact that more than 1 in 4 women feel a lack of access to child care is a hurdle to their career growth shows that companies are not doing enough,” Zehavi said.
Zehavi added that HR leaders should find ways to make it possible for employees to balance home and professional responsibilities by offering flexibility in hours and working location, for example.
Read More: Should You Pay For Child Care or Leave Your Job?
Some Companies Are Stepping Up To Lead the Change
Several organizations have started undertaking efforts to make a change, including the Care Economy Business Council, a coalition of 200 businesses whose mission is to “reimagine our nation’s caregiving infrastructure so we can get people back to work and build a stronger, more resilient economy for all of us,” as “our economy cannot reach its full potential without women, and women cannot reach their full potential without a reimagining of care.”
Stefania Pomponi, founder and chief brand officer at Hella Social Impact, which is a member of the Care Economy Business Council, told GOBankingRates that she is shocked that the 27% figure isn’t higher.
“Every time a male CEO steps away from his work duties to spend …….