Women’s Advisory Council Releases Report on Economic Impacts of COVID-19 on Women in Chicago

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Business

Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot’s Women’s Advisory Council (WAC), in partnership with World Business Chicago, Women Employed, and Civic Consulting Alliance, published Creating a More Equitable Recovery: Addressing the Economic Barriers COVID-19 Exacerbated for Women in Chicago. Findings from the report’s local and national data confirmed that women, particularly, women of color experienced disproportionate negative economic impacts over the course of the pandemic. Further, the pandemic was not the cause of the negative impacts. Instead, COVID-19 revealed pain points in the economy and social safety net systems, or lack thereof. The study revealed that women in Chicago were more likely to be single head-of-household, and yet they were also less likely to be working in 2020. When they were working, women were earning much less than their male counterparts, and they were overrepresented in low-quality, low-wage jobs with fewer benefits. A lack of care infrastructure and persistent occupational segregation — over- or under-representation in specific jobs among a certain population — caused women to bear the brunt of the challenges that the pandemic presented for individuals and families. Many industries negatively impacted by the pandemic — healthcare, food service, hospitality, and educational services — were jobs predominantly held by women. Overall in Chicago, 10,957 fewer men were in the labor force compared to 36,092 fewer women in 2020 compared to 2019.  To read the report, visit Chicago.gov/gbv.

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