business news in context, analysis with attitude

by Kevin Coupe

Axios has a story about an enormous change that has taken place during the year of the pandemic, which amounts to the erasure of "decades of workplace progress."

"In February 2020, right before the start of the pandemic, American women outnumbered men in the labor market," Axios writes.  "Since then, more than 2 million women have dropped out of the workforce, compared with 1.7 million men."

What's happened, the story says, is that "many women who dropped out of the labor force are mothers, who in general take on a disproportionate portion of child care and household responsibilities.  Once the pandemic hit and children were sent home from school, many left their jobs to manage the chaos at home."

Even as in-school learning returns, the story suggests, many of these women may have trouble returning to the workforce, and when they do, "their salary offers are on average 7% lower than those of other candidates who haven't interrupted their careers, according to compensation analysis company PayScale."

The story argues that "this sort of labor force shrinkage is bad news for the U.S. economy, and bringing women back to work - rapidly - will be essential for the post-pandemic recovery."

It also seems to me that for companies looking to - in the words of new Starbucks chairwoman Mellody Hobson - "slingshot out" of the pandemic, the good news is that these women represent an enormous talent pool from which many organizations can benefit.

If they choose to.  

The results could be an Eye-Opener.