Women bear workplace burden of pandemic, commission says

During a recent visit to the House Judiciary Committee, the Vermont Commission on Women, along with panelists Kiah Morris, Stephanie Seguino and Lisa Falcone, offered their insights into how the pandemic has disproportionately impacted women. 

73% of the unemployment claims made in Vermont are from women. That does not include individuals who have been pushed out of the labor force due to the shutdown of schools and closures of childcare facilities. 

Front line health care workers are disproportionately women with 91% of Vermont’s nursing population identifying as female. This places them at a greater risk of contracting the virus and bringing it home to their loved ones, commission members said.  

Occupational segregation plays a large role in the increasing number of female unemployment claims. While travel bans and social distancing orders have pushed businesses to either lay off employees or shut down, workers in the service industry are left with no other option but to file for unemployment. Individuals with occupations such as food service, home health aides and housekeepers have been hit the hardest and are also female dominated.

See YouTube video of January 14 Vermont Commission on Women event on effects of pandemic.

Source: weekly report from House Judiciary Chair Maxine Grad (D-Moretown).