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The sobering stats behind the “she-cession,” why you still haven’t received that online order and when social media strategy goes awry.
What happened today?
It’s International Women’s Day, and as good a day as any to consider the following.
Women’s labor force participation has fallen to a more-than-30-year low. Simultaneously, women’s child care and home-schooling duties have risen more than men’s, up by more than six hours a day. “Women’s labor force participation is lower than it’s been since 1988. We’ve lost a generation’s worth of progress,” Emily Martin at the National Women’s Law Center told us.
Women are likely to make most of the shopping decisions for their families. According to research by Kantar, 63% of people who said they do all or most of the apparel shopping for their households are women, compared to 37% for men. The numbers are similar for household items and groceries. So, in the words of Marketplace’s Marielle Segarra, “whether or not women recover economically from this pandemic is everybody’s problem.”
Audrey Hoyt’s business, which operates co-working spaces in Seattle and Tacoma, Washington, was getting into its stride early last year. February 2020 was the best month for The Pioneer Collective after almost five years in business. And then: “Almost overnight, we essentially almost had to shut our business down,” Hoyt told Marketplace.
What about now? “Just in the last couple of weeks, we’re feeling a little bit more optimistic in general and hoping that we can make it through to the other side,” Hoyt said.
The Pioneer Collective received both rounds of Paycheck Protection Program loans and some rent relief. Still, Hoyt said, she’s concerned. “I worry that all microbusinesses are going to have a really challenging time getting out of this,” she said. “I think it was almost untenable to run a microbusiness prior to the pandemic.” The full interview with Hoyt is here.
A cautionary tale, now, from Burger King in the United Kingdom, which today saw fit to tweet: “Women belong in the kitchen.” The tweet, and a matching ad that ran in today’s New York Times, announced a new scholarship program. “If you want to use sexism as clickbait, you obviously are not celebrating International Women’s Day,” Kerry O’Grady, an associate professor at Georgetown University, told NBC. At least one Irish comedian has parodied the genesis of the blunder.