The She-cession: How Economic Downturns Disproportionately Affect Women

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Economic difficulty touches millions of lives through job loss, furloughs, and the emotional tolls of uncertainty. While many experience the impact of economic strife, women are often the most adversely affected — particularly women of color. This pattern has become known as the she-cession, and there are a few key reasons for the inequality.

In early 2020, part of this was due to the industries affected by the initial wave of government shutdowns. Hospitality, education and health services and retail industries were hit the hardest, and these three industries combined account for 47 percent of jobs held by women.

Additionally, when faced with cutbacks entry-level positions are often the first to go. In many organizations, entry-level positions are represented fairly by men and women. However, the higher up the ladder you go, the less representation is seen for women and people of color. This means that these communities again are the most vulnerable to economic strife

Finally, many households still heavily rely on women to manage childcare and home chores. Based on research conducted by LeanIn.Org and SurveyMonkey, it’s estimated that mothers with full-time jobs and partners still work 71 hours of unpaid labor caring for their homes. So when schools close and families need childcare, the responsibility often falls to women to quit their careers.

As companies are hiring again and the unemployment rate begins to fall, many are wondering how they can protect themselves and their families from future recessions. While you can’t control the economy, you can control your career and protect your future.


Thanks to mint.com for creating this infographic and allowing me to share it.

how to navigate the she-cession