Female workers to be hit the hardest by Covid-19 disruption

Analysis carried out by Close the Gap in Scotland has revealed that women in lower-paid roles will be hit harder than men by Coronavirus, due to existing inequalities in the labour market.

The report highlights that occupational segregation, which is the distribution of men and women across and within different occupations, will drive women to a greater risk of unemployment, reduced working hours and furlough during and after the Coronavirus crisis.

Additionally, the report argues that high exposure roles to Coronavirus will be less likely to recover following the crisis. These roles include accommodation, food services and retail, which are all impacted based on consumer spending. Already however, the analysis found that a gender pay gap was present in all of these high exposure roles in Scotland, where women are being paid less than men.  As women tend to manage the majority of childcare, many women are already struggling to balance childcare and home learning with the additional expectation to do their job from home.

Close the Gap has put forward recommendations to the Scottish Government due to fears that female poverty is likely to increase. Some of these recommendations include:

  • Ensuring the gendered impact is a key consideration of policy making
  • Addressing occupational segregation and the undervaluation of women’s work in adult social care and childcare

This report therefore demonstrates there is a clear need for effective strategies to be put in place by the Scottish Government, namely affordable and flexible childcare, to prevent women’s employment having a disproportionate impact following the Coronavirus crisis.

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