“As deputy chief human resource officer at Northwell Health, I’m aware of the tough decisions our employees are facing now,” Carrington writes. “About 72% of our workforce is female, and I’ve seen firsthand how women are now grappling with caregiving responsibilities. This was an issue before COVID-19. Women’s careers have traditionally taken a back seat to their partners’ once they have kids.”
The pandemic has made the need for prioritizing caregiving for children and older parents all the more important and requires employers to shoulder some responsibility, she notes. Companies can, for example, offer big discounts for childcare centers, something Carrington’s firm does, where employees can leave their children, she writes.
“Even after the pandemic has resolved, long-term damage to women’s careers is likely to remain,” Carrington writes. “If a woman leaves the workforce for any reason, they’re more likely to stay out of the workforce longer. It takes time to find a new job and is even more challenging to find a comparable one.”