Join the conversation on Twitter using #EconomicsOfCare.
The coronavirus pandemic has made unequivocally clear the vital role that women play in our economy and in the economic stability of families. Women have been on the front lines of the pandemic at work and at home, disproportionately harmed by job losses and inadequate caregiving supports that have resulted in 4.2 million fewer women employed and nearly 1.8 million fewer women in the labor force as of May 2021 compared with before the pandemic. Women of color continue to experience higher rates of unemployment than their white counterparts, and women’s overall labor force participation rate of 57.4 percent is the lowest it’s been since 1988. These effects are the result of long-standing policy failures—from the lack of a comprehensive paid family and medical leave program to the enormous gaps in access to high-quality, affordable child care—exacerbated by the pandemic’s caregiving crisis. They also are a stark reminder of how often the work that women perform, especially the care work frequently done by women of color, is disregarded and devalued despite its essential role in sustaining families and the economy overall.
A robust recovery will require more than a return to the pre-pandemic status quo, where caregiving challenges and work-family conflicts were left largely for women to navigate on their own. The current conversation about infrastructure investments and growing the economy must include an intentional focus on what actions are needed to ensure that all women can participate fully in the economy and provide vital support to their families.
Please join us on Tuesday, June 22, at 10:00 a.m. for an important conversation with leading economists and experts about the current status of women in the economy, the lessons learned from the pandemic, and what it means to center women in the conversation about the critical investments needed to propel a strong economic recovery.
We would love to hear your questions. Please submit any questions for our distinguished panel via email at CAPeventquestions@americanprogress.org or on Twitter using #EconomicsOfCare. Live captioning will be available on Zoom and on the YouTube livestream.
Dr. Lisa Cook, Professor of Economics and International Relations, Michigan State University
Ai-jen Poo, Co-Founder and Executive Director, National Domestic Workers Alliance
Dr. Heidi Shierholz, Senior Economist and Director of Policy, Economic Policy Institute
Dr. Aaron Sojourner, Professor of Economics and Labor Economist at Carlson School of Management, University of Minnesota
Jocelyn Frye, Senior Fellow, Center for American Progress