Is having true work/life balance an unobtainable myth for women?

At one point during the first year of COVID-19, if I had heard the words “work/life balance” from my employer, I would have blown a fuse. With my teenage daughter’s senior year of high school playing out on a laptop in the background of my Teams calls, my husband’s conference calls in the background of that, the TV blaring news of a global pandemic and societal meltdown, and the dog barking on top of all of it—achieving work/life balance was a laughable fantasy.

Although the chaos of 2020 has somewhat abated, the economic and social impact of COVID-19 is still disproportionately impacting women as they balance childcare concerns with returning to work in the office or reentering the workforce after experiencing pandemic-related unemployment. Consider the following statistics from CNBC:

  • Between February 2020 and February 2021, more than 2.3 million women in the U.S. left the labor force, compared to around 1.8 million men.
  • In 2020 alone, women globally lost more than 64 million jobs, which equals 5% of the total jobs held by women. By comparison, 3.9% of men’s jobs were lost last year.

 

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