As too many employers have experienced firsthand, one of the most startling employment setbacks linked to the COVID-19 pandemic is its effect on diversity. A disproportionate number of women left the workforce in 2020, and this troubling trend continues.

Caregiving is a primary factor influencing women to leave their jobs, because of the time, attention and energy it requires. While this responsibility isn't a new burden, COVID-19 health concerns have greatly expanded its focus from elderly or ailing family members to school-age children who learn remotely, or otherwise spend more time at home. October 2020 saw 2.2 million fewer women in the labor pool compared to one year prior.1

Author Information:


1Rand Corporation, "Women Are Leaving the Labor Force in Record Numbers," November 2020
2CDC, "Delay or Avoidance of Medical Care Because of COVID-19-Related Concerns — United States, June 2020," September 2020
3Catalyst, "The Impact of COVID-19 on Working Parents," September 2020
4LeanIn.Org and SurveyMonkey, "Impact of COVID-19 on Women," May 2020
5Gallagher, "COVID-19 The Caregiver Crisis Pulse Survey," November 2020
6Gallagher, "Workforce Trends Pulse Survey," February 2021


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