Vermont statistics show women disproportionately impacted by pandemic

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(Local22/44) — According to new statistics, women are more likely to have their work impacted by the pandemic.

“In terms of dealing with at-home challenges, educating children from home, and juggling care for children. But also the jobs that have been the essential workers,” said Chair of Vermont Commission on Women.

Change the Story Vermont, the Vermont Commission on Women, and Vermont Works for Women, as well as other organizations work together to gather data on the status of women in Vermont.

Lisa Senecal, Chair of the Vermont Commission on Women says that in Vermont, 91% of nurses, 82% of health care workers, and 82% of personal care workers are women.

“It puts women at a higher risk for COVID and it puts a strain in their ability to be flexible for their kids,” said Senecal.

According to the Vermont Commission on Women’s website, 81% of tipped wage workers in Vermont are women.

“In the 2008 recession, the majority of jobs that were lost were high wage jobs, and this time they are low wage jobs. The high wage jobs are coming back more quickly and the low wage jobs are held by women more than man,” said Senecal.

Senecal also explained these impacts are greater for women of color. “Throughout the country, black women and members of the minorities hold the disproportionate low wage jobs,” said Senecal.

Rhoni Basden from Vermont works for women says while they have been able to get women to work in high-risk jobs, many women have needed to switch jobs because of childcare. She said on Labor Day, she wants to remind everyone of gender equity in the workforce.

“We are trying to do more equity training on front line workers so we can ensure that our participants and the women that we are sending into the industries feel supported,” said Basden.


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