As RGP celebrates International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month, CEO Kate Duchene writes in a blog just published by HR.com—the largest social networking site dedicated to human resources professionals—that business needs to urgently focus on the growing number of women exiting the workforce due to the ongoing global pandemic.
Dubbed the “she-cession” by some analysts, the numbers are sobering:
- More than 2.5 million women dropped out of the labor force between February 2020 and this past January—compared to 1.8 million men.
- Women accounted for 55% of the 9.6 million net jobs lost in 2020 by late December.
- Women’s current labor force participation rate of 56% is the lowest since 1987. Women of color have been especially hard-hit.
Duchene writes that business should use this month’s commemorations of women as a platform for action by focusing on three main areas:
- Redouble efforts to bring women back into the workforce so we can meet the Paradigm for Parity Coalition’s full gender parity goal by 2030.
- Use the growing trend of borderless talent to expand opportunities for women that didn’t exist before.
- Find new and creative ways to bring women back to the workforce including “reboarding” and voluntary furloughs.
“We may be arriving at an inflection point that can be win-win if we recognize the opportunity, and most importantly, if we act—creatively and boldly,” she writes. “This year’s Women’s History Month could be the catalyst.”