ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — A new study done by researchers at the University at Albany (UAlbany) found that female educators had a more disproportionate impact compared to their male counterparts during the COVID-19 pandemic. The study, conducted by NYKids, finds that there are disproportionate factors in work-life balance over the course of the pandemic, specifically those in the education field.
The study used multiple different methods and received responses from over 700 educators at 38 schools across New York. Respondents included instructional staff from P-12 schools, including teachers and teaching assistants, as well as social workers, counselors, and school psychologists.
“We designed this study with the idea that if we looked at factors of stress and job satisfaction we might get a better sense of how the pandemic was potentially impacting educators differently in different contexts, and what that might mean for kids and families,” said Kristen Wilcox, a lead author on the study and associate professor in the school’s Department of Educational Policy and Leadership.
Survey findings include:
- Female educators experienced higher levels of COVID-related and work-related stress and reported more severe struggles to balance work and family responsibilities than their male counterparts.
- Women with child-care responsibilities experienced similar levels of stress and work-life balance challenges as women without childcare responsibilities.
- Gender disparities were more closely related to work- and COVID-related stressors than their responsibilities as child caregivers.
- The severity of stress and work-life balance challenges was higher among educators who experienced interruptions to their employment, income, or social supports.
“It poses a question of how female educators can be supported better in school settings,” said Aaron Leo, lead author of the study and assistant director of research at NYKids. “But I think there are issues that go beyond the school level when it comes to supporting our teachers not just as workers, but also their ability to have a family.”