Why should this so-called ‘she-cession’ alarm us all? Because the resilience and growth of economies depend on women’s workforce participation. Because women’s earnings are essential for many families’ economic security. Because if women participated in the economy identically to men, global GDP would increase significantly. And ultimately, because there will be no post-COVID-19 recovery unless women’s economic prospects recover.

For months, U.S. job reports have painted a dire picture of the pandemic’s deep and disproportionate impact on women.

Many blame the pandemic entirely, but in truth the pandemic has revealed and exacerbated the shaky economic ground on which women have always stood. From their over-representation in vulnerable and informal sectors, to the lack of high-quality care services, to closed schools and the persistent unpaid care burden – this pandemic has taken what was already a precarious economic situation and sent it spiraling out of control.

Urgent government action is required. But the private sector also has a unique and essential role to play in keeping women on their payrolls and stopping this regression in its tracks. Here are five ways businesses can better support women in the workforce:

  • Prioritize equal pay for equal work
  • Support women in leadership
  • Ensure a safe workplace
  • Offer paid parental leave
  • End the use of negative stereotypes in advertising

Read the full article about helping women who are being pushed out of the workforce by Michelle Milford Morse at United Nations Foundation.