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International Women's Day 2021

by Kit Robertson on 2021-03-01T09:46:13-05:00 | 0 Comments


International Women's Day


International Women's Day on March 8th, 2021, is a day for celebrating the achievements of women around the globe. Women are becoming driving forces in medicine, science, business and sectors all across the board. But as we appreciate how far we have come, we should also pause to reflect on the significant impact of COVID-19's economic fallout on Women in the workplace.  

Smiling Women Sitting on Stairs

According to the Women in the Workplace 2020 report by McKinsey & Company, the pandemic has brought more challenges to women, often forcing them out of the workforce. They include: 

  • Lack of flexibility at work 
  • Feeling like they need to be available to work at all hours, i.e., "always on" 
  • Housework and caregiving burdens due to Covid-19 
  • Worry that their performance is being negatively judged because of caregiving responsibilities during the pandemic 
  • Discomfort sharing the challenges they are facing with teammates or managers
  • Feeling blindsided by decisions that affect their day-to-day work
  • Feeling unable to bring their whole self to work (p. 13)

To read more about the Women in the Workplace reportclick here

While this report is focused on American women, it offers us a perspective on the challenges Canadian women are experiencing in the workplace. As students and educators, we must be aware of the factors that affect and disempower our communities' women. 

Before we even ran into the wall that was COVID-19, the Canadian Women's Foundation reported according to the 2016 Candian Census: 

  • Indigenous women working full-time, full year earn an average of 35% less than non-Indigenous men, earning 65 cents to the dollar.
  • Racialized women working full-time, full-year earn an average of 33% less than non-racialized men, earning 67 cents to the dollar.
  • Newcomer women working full-time, full-year earn an average of 29% less than non-newcomer men, earning 71 cents to the dollar.

Not only are women facing extreme pay gaps in comparison to me, they traditionally tend to more home care and child care tasks. Considering the economic dangers of COVID-19 for women, we must make a considerable effort to help women regain their place in the workforce. We can offer more social assistance to help with childcare, education on wage parity, and a concerted effort to surrounding the stigma around hiring women of colour. 

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