It's been a rough year for everyone, there's no question about that. But according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll, women and people of color are more likely to say they're financially worse off today than they were when the pandemic began a year ago.
Out of the 1,007 people surveyed, 25 percent of women say their family's financials are worse now than they were in March 2020—when coronavirus-related shutdowns first started—compared to 18 percent of men. And 27 percent of POC share the same sentiment, compared to 18 percent of white respondents.
Unfortunately, the results aren't too surprising. Women and workers of color tend to hold jobs that have been more impacted by the shutdowns, including those in the service-sector and non-urgent healthcare fields. And though some families have chosen Dad to stay at home with the kids, mamas have carried the majority of child-care responsibilities while trying to navigate around shuttered daycare centers and online or hybrid schooling.
The Post conducted follow-up interviews where several women said they were forced to leave their job—or take lower-paying, more flexible work—in order to stay at home and care for their kids. A few women who were able to keep their jobs noted rising costs of rent and food as reasons for their financial troubles.
The World Economic Forum released its annual Global Gender Gap Report last month, and its findings mirror the results of the poll. According to the organization's data, the pandemic set back gender parity by an entire generation. It will now take women in North America approximately 61.5 years to reach pay equity with men.
Though disheartening, there is some news we can all get excited about: The United State's COVID-19 vaccine rollout is going faster than planned. Nearly 30 percent of the total population is fully inoculated and more than 40 percent of adults have received at least one dose. We know it's been hard, mama, but there's a light at the end of the tunnel.