by Jessica Mendoza and Samantha Laine Perfas

Millions of women, especially women of color, left the U.S. workforce during the pandemic. The reasons ranged from layoffs to burnout to the pressures of caring for children or other family members. Among the losses, by some accounts, is a generation’s worth of progress in women’s participation in the workforce.

But it’s more than sheer numbers. “What the pandemic has really shone a spotlight on is all the weak points in our system that just depend on women sacrificing, holding it together,” says Emily Martin, vice president for education and workplace justice at the nonprofit National Women’s Law Center.

In the first episode of our new podcast, “Stronger,” we look at what the pandemic’s economic impact could mean for working women long term. We also examine what we can learn from this unprecedented year – about women’s value to society, and the steps we can take to create more equitable homes and workplaces.

“We’re in this space where we are just rethinking how we work and when we work,” says C. Nicole Mason, president and CEO of the Institute for Women’s Policy Research. “We’re starting to see those conversations amplified by the experiences of women during the pandemic.”

Read Transcript/Listen to Podcast Episode