Rachel Shelton began her pregnancy preparations as an expectant mother. She started looking for baby clothes, a nursery, and childcare because when she returned to work as a school teacher.
Finding a childcare proved to be a challenge.
“I was just a few months pregnant, just sharing the news with family, and I had no idea how difficult it would be to locate childcare that matched my employment. “We got on wait for several centres when I was several months pregnant and he was 4 years old,” Shelton said. “I just figured if it worked, I could work and he could stay.”
Shelton left her teaching career after the birth of her second boy and in 2019 found work at a daycare where both of her children attend.
So Shelton’s career was once again upended. She was unemployed and homeschooling her two young children.
No plans to reopen our school at this time. But, again, that shows there weren’t enough daycare slots before the outbreak. That’s worse after the pandemic,” she said.
A Department of Labor said Shelton’s battle is more frequent.
“When women have to leave the profession to care for children or family members, it affects their future career opportunities,” said Sarah Jane Glynn, senior advisor at us Department of Labor’s Women’s Bureau.
In the future, we may be paying serious costs for the previous couple of years, or even 10, 20, or 30 years, because it has the ability to damage women’s careers, not just now.
How Overrepresentation in Underpriced Industries Disadvantaged Women During in the Pandemic, was released by Labor Department in March. the gender pay gap and other contextual variables contributed to women being struck harder by the pandemic.
According to Glynn, those losses might last a decade.
As a result of school closings, daycare closures, and adult day services closings, women were driven away from employment and into their families to care for children and others, according to Glynn.
Glynn also explained how occupational segregation disadvantaged women. Women are more likely to work in industries like education, caregiving, service, & hospitality, which lost more jobs than other sectors, according to Glynn.
“Just three industries, education and health service, governments, and travel and hospitality, account for almost 55% of all early 2020 job losses. But those three industries alone lost 62% of women’s jobs. In other words, occupational segregation placed women more vulnerable to the pandemic,” Glynn noted.
The salary disparity also influenced how the pandemic affected women. A guy made $1 in 2020 and a woman made $0.83.
“The one earning less is likely to be one who loses jobs or performs fewer hours. And in most cases, it’s a woman. “Over time, the income difference pushes women out,” Glynn explained.
“Women make less money and are less able to have access to employer-sponsored health insurance or retirement benefits. This adds to the pandemic’s susceptibility beyond employment loss “Glynn went on. “It always causes economic vulnerability.”
“When wages are reduced, it affects individual families “Glynn said. “It’s bad for workers when they can’t get the jobs they want. But it’s also harmful for the economy since individuals have less cash to spend and are worse off.”
While Shelton’s children, ages 6 & 3, have grown up, she is still pondering her job path.
“It’s all felt so fragile. Even this year, the younger one develops a runny nose and misses a week of school. So, you know, thinking about going back to work is stressful,” she stated, adding she is searching for opportunities outside the classroom where she can work from home.
Shelton has also joined Moms Rising, an organisation that advocates for women, mothers, & children.
“I’m a working mom with small children right now, but I want people to know that we as a culture need to prioritise caregiving, children, and a method that parents can have children, work, and care for their kids,” Shelton said.
“Our country will always have young children and parents who need to work “Shelton said “I just think it might be better for everyone.”