Creating more opportunities for remote and highly flexible work is essential—but companies must avoid common pitfalls.
We are facing a gender equality crisis. The numbers have made for a steady string of headlines recently: We hit a 33-year low in women’s labor participation in January, and nearly 3 million women have dropped out of the workforce compared to a year ago. Since February 2020, women have lost a net of 5.4 million jobs, accounting for 55% of net job loss in the U.S. during this crisis, despite making up slightly less than half of the workforce. On a net basis, all 140,000 jobs lost in December 2020 in the U.S. belonged to women, and 2.2 million women have left the workforce entirely. Especially impacted are women of color, who comprise a large portion of the workforce in industries that have been hardest hit by the pandemic, including hospitality, education, and retail.