The pandemic affects parents’ career paths
Andrea Smadja – C19 Tamar news
American parents, especially mothers, have had to work from home with their children during the health crisis. This could have a significant impact on careers.
This is a somewhat hidden effect of the Covid-19 pandemic, which further increases gender inequalities. Many American parents have lost their jobs because of the health crisis, others have kept their jobs, but not without the risk of breaking their careers. As schools remained closed, childcare was disrupted. As a result, many parents, especially mothers, have had to work fewer hours, turn down assignments, decline offers or even refuse to pursue new employment.
This is the result of a survey published this Thursday in the American daily newspaper “New York Times” by Morning Consult, a national polling organisation. The economists who authored the report were able to draw up a short-term report on the effects of the pandemic on the careers of working parents. These effects could well be felt in the long term, as American employers tend to penalise less productive people.
The survey’s findings are clear: mothers – especially single mothers – have suffered the most professionally from the pandemic. Out of 468 working women surveyed, one third had reduced their working hours because of childcare problems. A national study by the Bureau of Statistics confirms this finding. And it even extends it to all parents, 26% of whom reduced their working hours between 23 June and 5 July to look after children.
About 20% of the mothers in the Morning Consult survey (over 90) went part-time in their jobs during the pandemic; 28% refused promotion and 23% did not apply for a new job. A quarter felt that their productivity decreased when working with children at home.
And this problem seems to persist during the summer when the Delta variant is now the majority in the US, and under-12s are still not vaccinated. A quarter of American parents reported to the Bureau of Statistics that they took unpaid leave in the last week of June to care for their children, and a fifth used paid time off.