The coronavirus has had devastating consequences on global health and economies. But beyond the spread of the disease, the stock market crash, the global recession and the struggling local economies, COVID-19 is having a profound impact inside our homes and on us as individuals. It has changed the way we live, the way we work, and the way we connect with one another.
The world has screeched to a virtual halt, and we’ve been hit with hardships that arrived suddenly and unexpectedly. We’ve been forced to find new ways to navigate a new reality.
Our businesses are shuttered, some of us are without jobs, schools are closed and many people are wondering how they can pay their bills. We’ve learned from crises in the past that vulnerable and underrepresented groups are usually the last to rebound from this kind of disaster.
Working women are disproportionately affected, as their lives and livelihoods are upended. Recent reports show that most occupations dominated by women are at risk. And many will have to sacrifice job opportunities to care for family members or children who are no longer in school. But women are not only losing their jobs at higher rates, but they are earning less money to begin with — only 81 cents for every dollar earned by men. And the discrepancy is even greater when it comes to communities of color. But this time we can change that narrative.
To help women survive this storm and embark upon a fulfilling career path, we’ve launched our Jobs Board. Our platform gives women from a wide range of backgrounds, perspectives, and professions access to job opportunities and find a role that’s perfect for them. Our programs are designed to offer job security and economic empowerment to underrepresented groups through education and professional support.
The social distancing mandate and remote work conditions – where boundaries between career and parenting are constantly blurred and crossed – is taking a toll on the lives of working moms. Juggling work and parental obligations has placed a great burden on mothers, and career success is often sacrificed, as childcare responsibilities are still more likely to fall on women. Single mothers are hit even harder.
The United Nations reported a significant spike in cases of domestic violence cases during the lockdown, and in some countries the numbers have more than doubled as a result of women being trapped with abusive partners.
Social isolation and detachment from our support systems is making it hard on all of us, and community is now more important than ever. We must remember that social distancing doesn’t mean social isolation. We are here to empower you to take control of your story and give you a platform to connect and share with others.
We’ve just launched Community Stories + Voices, a series of personal conversations with women in different stages of their careers who share — their experiences, their struggles, their victories, their advice. They’ve described how COVID-19 is changing their everyday lives, and their experiences remind us that we are not alone. We want to hear from you and ensure that every voice is heard on a global stage. Because in times like these, people deserve to be heard.
Girls in Tech is here to help women not only survive moments like these but also to thrive in the moments that follow. By empowering people to have agency over their professional careers and fulfillment in their personal lives, we can turn this global crisis into an opportunity for lasting change.