Coronavirus impacts women's jobs more than men's, a study finds
Women will be harder hit by Covid-19 job disruption, a new report has found.
A studyhighlighting the disproportionate impact of the coronavirus crisis on women’s employment has been published by Close the Gap, Scotland’s national charity for women’s labour market equality.
The key findings of the analysis are that job disruption will impact women more than men because they tend to work in different jobs and sectors.
Women, particularly black and minority ethnic women and young women, are also more likely to work in a sector that has been shut down (18% compared to 14% for men).
The study also found that women are the majority of zero-hour contract workers and part-time workers, 45% of workers on zero-hour contracts and 30% of part-time workers work in shut down sectors.
Unemployment will hit women harder because they are more likely to work in service sectors such as hospitality and retail.
Job disruption particularly affects women in low-paid service sector jobs. Issues here are the enforced reduction of hours and furlough, placing them at greater risk of poverty.
Meanwhile, women are bearing the brunt of the increase of childcare and care for adults in the home, making it difficult to do their paid work from home, where this is required by their employer.
Anna Ritchie Allan, executive director of Close the Gap, said: “The existing inequalities women face in the labour market, such as their propensity to be employed in low-paid work in service sectors, means they’ll be hardest hit by the Covid-19 job disruption. Covid-19 risks pushing women and their families into poverty as they grapple with disproportionate job losses, having their hours cut, and being furloughed.
“Because women do the bulk of childcare, many are also struggling to balance childcare and home learning while being expected to do their job from home. Many women are at breaking point, and the status quo can’t continue.
“It’s critical that Scotland has an economic recovery plan that recognises the disproportionate effects of job disruption on women’s employment.”