Nearly 10 Million Working Moms Are Burned Out, Thanks to COVID-19

Worried mother with face protective mask working from home.
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Covid-19 has been taking an especially difficult toll on working parents, and working mothers are specifically bearing the brunt of the hardships. From rearranging work schedules or helping with remote learning, “pandemic parenting” is reshaping the workforce. Of the 35 million working women at the end of 2019, about 9.8 million working mothers are now struggling from workplace burnout — mostly triggered by the lack of help for child care — according to a new study conducted by Maven and Great Place to Work.

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Burnout is a health condition, which the World Health Organization added as a syndrome to the International Classification of Diseases and describes as a “chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed. In the early days of the pandemic, women already accounted for the majority of jobs lost, and because of the toll the situation is taking on women, the mass exodus might even increase, triggering setbacks on gender and diversity equity in the labor force, according to the study.

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In September 2020, 80% of the workers who left the labor force were women, including 324,000 Latinas and 58,000 Black women, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data. This is a trend that might be accelerating as one in four women is considering either leaving the workforce or slowing their career because of the pandemic, according to the study.

While most employees are looking for solutions to prevent burnout, only 39% of them say that their current policies and programs are addressing these issues. Clearly, there is an urgent need to reshape and reimagine a more sustainable work environment for working parents.

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About the Author

Yaël Bizouati-Kennedy is a former full-time financial journalist and has written for several publications, including Dow Jones, The Financial Times Group, Bloomberg and Business Insider. She also worked as a vice president/senior content writer for major NYC-based financial companies, including New York Life and MSCI. Yaël is now freelancing and most recently, she co-authored  the book “Blockchain for Medical Research: Accelerating Trust in Healthcare,” with Dr. Sean Manion. (CRC Press, April 2020) She holds two master’s degrees, including one in Journalism from New York University and one in Russian Studies from Université Toulouse-Jean Jaurès, France.

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