On International Women’s Day, Rep. Sherrill Highlights the Impact of COVID

March 8, 2021
Press Release

Washington DC — Representative Mikie Sherrill (NJ-11) released the following statement for International Women’s Day highlighting the pandemic’s inequitable impact on American women in the workforce and as mothers.

The weight of the pandemic is particularly heavy on women, and we as a society must do more to recognize this and work to support them,” said Rep. Sherrill. “Women have faced greater setbacks in the workforce, being laid off by employers at higher rates or making the necessary choice to leave to provide childcare and homeschooling for their kids. Women are overwhelmingly on the front lines of this pandemic. Women make up 76 percent of all healthcare jobs and 76 percent of teachers. Not enough is being done to highlight and address the toll this pandemic has taken on women, from mental health to job loss. I will continue to make this a priority as we work to make our communities whole.”

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is particularly stark for women in America:

Job Loss:

  • Since the pandemic began, almost 5.4 million women have lost their jobs, nearly a million more than seen by men during the same time period, and still have not recovered them. This is close to double the level of job loss seen during the worst month of the Great Recession, when women lost 2.8 million jobs. 
  • The employment recovery has also slowed dramatically for women in recent months compared to over the summer. Since November, women have seen average job gains of less than 50,000 per month.

Mothers Leaving Workforce Because of School Closures:

  • Research published by the New York Times estimates that almost 1.6 million mothers have left the workforce due to COVID-related school closures.
  • The labor force participation rate of mothers with school-age children fell by almost 5 percentage points when the first wave of school closures hit the country in April 2020.

Mothers Leaving the Workforce Due to Childcare Challenges: 

  • In a Census survey conducted last summer, over 25% of non-working women with children reported that they were not employed due to COVID-related childcare issues. By contrast, only 10% of non-working men with children said they weren’t employed for this reason.

Women on the Front Lines: 

  • Over 27 million American women have worked tirelessly over the past year as essential workers to support and protect our communities. 
  • This includes almost 13 million women in the healthcare sector working as doctors, nurses, and critical support staff, as well as over 3.3 million women in the education and community support sectors.

International Women’s Day was established to uplift the economic, social, cultural, and political successes of women and girls around the world while raising awareness about the strides and shortcomings in gender equality in the 21st century.

In order to help Representative Sherrill continue her advocacy in Congress, she would like to hear directly from women in our community about their experiences and challenges living, working, and parenting in the time of COVID. Please click here to respond to our survey.