Gender Gap During COVID

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Are you affected by the worsening gender gap during COVID? Read what has contributed to it and how to build back towards equality!



The worsening gender gap during COVID has been setting back decades of significant progress towards equality in the workforce. This week on our Live at 5, we hosted expert guests Karen Craggs and Amy C. Waninger to discuss the trends of the pay inequality in the workforce, how it’s affecting women during COVID and how to work towards gender pay equality.


What are some COVID trends in the gender gap in the workforce?

Not only women make less than men, but there is also variation among diverse women. According to statistics run by American institutions, white women make 79 cents for each dollar that white straight men make. These numbers unfortunately worsen for diverse women. Black women making only 62 cents, Native American women making 57 and Latinx women making only 54 cents for each dollar straight-white-men make.
In addition to the existing inequality, the gender gap during COVID is worsening. Women are voluntarily leaving the workforce 8 times more than men due to the unequal spread of home and children’s responsibilities during the pandemic.


How has the worsening gender gap during COVID been affecting women?

Unfortunately, more women are finding themselves in abusive relationships during the pandemic due to increased isolation and financial stress. The increased gender gap worsens women’s financial dependency on their partners and causes some of these women to stay with their abusive partners.


What attempts are being made by companies to stop gender equality?

Although companies try to emphasize the importance of inclusion and equality, they might not be always implementing policies to support their claims. Karen shared how she witnessed the lack of effectivity when companies bring external professionals with limited knowledge about the company to solve inclusion problems so they could say they addressed gender equality.


How can we work towards gender equality in the workforce?

  1. Societal Solutions:

    • Reframing the problem:

Women and men might be doing the same work while getting paid differently.  So the pressure shouldn’t be on women to ‘earn more’ but on others to ‘pay women more’.
Cooperation: There may be more factors worsening the gender gap than we are aware of. Whether you are a woman or not, being open and giving others space

to share their challenges might shed a light on these hidden but significant societal problems. If you aren’t sure of how much to expect as a salary, one effective way to get clarity is through cooperation with others. Sharing how much you make with other professionals in your field or profession can be important to understand wage and salary averages. If you are earning less than others, you would have more ground to make a case during pay negotiations.

    • Breaking the cycle:

Without cooperation and joint effort, the pay gap can lead women to feel more insecure and think they deserve less pay. This might create a loop of women charging less because their expectation gets lower than their true worth. To avoid this worsening cycle, it’s important to build confidence.

    • Knowing your value!

Most companies have a higher budget for salaries than their offer. If you think or know you deserve more, negotiate! Women might be told to be polite which might prevent them from negotiating salary and raises but sacrificing from your worth might not be the best act of humility. The biggest negotiation opportunity for salary is when entering a new job. Instead of accepting a lower beginning salary and expecting high promotions, negotiate for a higher starting point. When it comes to promotions, ask more frequently than you think is polite.

  1. Public policy:

Women make around 50% of the population, so officials should have more pressure to implement more policies towards gender equality, whether it’s about the public or private sectors. Women would benefit from increased pressure on corporations by officials to increase pay transparency and equality.

  1. Corporate Systems:

    • Diversity

Even if there might be equality in pay between men and women in a specific level of work, it’s just as important to examine the diversity of the labour force. Companies should look into improving inclusion in their HR practices overall.

    • Consultation:

Companies who take steps towards equality might seek the help of some professional expertise. However, one size fits all approaches to implementing policies that might not work for each company. Understanding the corporate culture, values and challenges is highly critical to creating tailored strategies that truly help. One way this can be done is by getting insights from people in all levels of the company instead of just senior managers and HR. This might lead to understanding the problems and measuring the impact of suggested policies more effectively.

    • Awareness:

Although this data might be confidential, it might be beneficial for policymakers and senior managers to be aware of HR policies including salary. Having transparency about employee salary and wage levels can discover hidden patterns of bias.


We hope you enjoyed reading our blog about ‘Millennials and COVID’! Check the full live chat here. You can find our live chats and more of the latest financial news on our News Blog. Stay tuned to learn more tips on a new topic each week on our Instagram Live at 5 on Instagram! Aside from our live chats, we post daily financial updates on social media!

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