In 2008, the US economy experienced a financial crash that various specialists called «mancession,» a neologism that mixes he/they and recession.
Headlines like «It’s Not Just a Recession. It’s a Mancession!» portrayed the male population’s economic onslaught.
More than a decade after, Angélica Fuentes, defender of gender equality in the workplace and impact investor warns about a similar phenomenon that affects women in the United States but goes unnoticed due to gender issues.
«The Covid-19 pandemic has deepened the economic inequalities women normally face. Worst still, it has complicated the aspirations of Latina women in the United States,» she says.
Last January, the US Department of Labor’s employment report showed generally encouraging figures, as the economy managed to add 467,000 new jobs, more than estimated by Wall Street.
However, for women, the outlook is not encouraging as they are the ones who occupy less than half of these jobs.
The report also reveals that women have fewer and fewer opportunities to enter the workforce than men.
Before the pandemic, the presence of women in the workforce registered an increase of 2.2%.
During the first two months of the pandemic, women were the population group that lost the most jobs, with 12.2 million.
Although the pandemic did not generate new gender inequalities in the workforce, it has substantially worsened pre-existing inequalities, giving way to the «Shecession», which, as its etymological root indicates, it will be more harmful for women.
«Shecession» impacts on latin women
The «shecession» has already negatively impacted women mainly in economic spheres, explains Angélica Fuentes.
«By April 2021, 55% of jobs lost due to the pandemic had been from a woman, and one of the main reasons was that over 3.5 million mothers with school-age children had extra responsibilities at home.”
Latina women over 20 years of age represented an unemployment rate of 20.2%. One of the main reasons is the lack of a support network or programs that help them in domestic responsibilities.
In addition to the low rate of homeownership and not having access to primary benefits such as overtime pay or maternity leave, this factor further segregates them.
«This phenomenon is overwhelming Latinas, women workers, and leaders. They are putting aside their professional lives to carry out care activities», says Angélica Fuentes.
To mitigate the impact of the «shecession» on Latin women, Angélica Fuentes suggests that companies take action to create much friendlier environments for women that encourage gender equality. The first steps she identifies relies on providing them with tools that help them find a balance between their personal and professional lives.