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1 in 4 women are considering leaving the workforce, survey finds

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A mom tries to get work done at home while watching her daughter.

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The unemployment report for September comes out Friday. We already know that this downturn has hit women particularly hard, with job losses and increased challenges for those still employed. A report from McKinsey & Co. and LeanIn.org found some troubling trends for women in the workforce during the pandemic.

The survey of 40,000 workers found 1 in 4 women are considering downshifting their careers or dropping out of the workforce. 

“We have women that were job searching that reached back out to us and said, ‘I’ve got to put this on pause, because I can’t manage a new job and my kids at home and all of that,'” said Michelle Keefe, who runs MomUp, a staffing firm that focuses on placing working mothers.

The share of women in senior management grew from 23% to 28% between 2015 and the start of 2020, according to the survey. But those advances could be lost, said Rachel Thomas, the CEO of Lean In.

“If companies don’t take action, this could wipe out all the hard-earned gains we’ve seen for women in management in a single year,” Thomas said.

The report estimates lost earnings for women could total as much as $180 billion this year.

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