Early into the pandemic, it became clear that women, especially mothers and women of color, were being disproportionately impacted in the labor market. Millions were forced to opt out of work entirely due to lack of childcare amid school closures. In a recent WerkLabs study, 61% of working moms said they’ve had to pause career development efforts. The strides women were making in the workplace, along with DE&I initiatives that were front and center at an executive level, were immediately halted as employers raced to respond to remote work challenges, plunging revenue and safety concerns.

At a recent press conference, President Joe Biden called the most recent jobs report “promising” after a “year of devastation,” while noting many are still left behind. Though there have been millions of jobs created in the first two months of 2021, there are eight million fewer jobs today than last March.

“Too many women have been forced out of the workforce,” Biden said. “Unemployment among people of color remains far too high … Today’s report is good news … but we still have a long way to go.”

The need for a critical focus on women in the workforce, particularly moms and underrepresented minorities, is crucial to making an impact on the results of the pandemic. “Having women, and moms in particular, in the workplace is a critical strategy for business success,” said Allison Robinson, co-founder and CEO of The Mom Project. “Women lead with compassion. Moms build more equitable workplaces, they build more productive workplaces, and they provide a better overall employee experience for their teams and organizations when they are in positions of power.”

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The Time Is Now

Now is not the time for companies to take their foot off the gas when it comes to diversity, inclusion, and holding space for working moms to reenter the workforce. “Many mothers of young children are facing burnout and an unemployment crisis,” said Michael Madowitz, an economist at the Center for American Progress. “They may now face decades of increased wage discrimination over resume gaps and missed promotions during this impossible year.”

At The Mom Project, we’ve purpose-built a Diverse Talent Cloud — an AI-enabled platform that improves match reliability, reduces bias, and delivers diverse talent faster — so companies can get connected with quality, diverse talent, and working parents can find meaningful work regardless of how long they’ve been away from the job market.

Women are 3.2 times more likely to engage with The Mom Project when they reenter the job market. We are a network of over half a million women who are highly qualified, college-educated, and ready to work for companies that value diversity.

Our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Mission

At The Mom Project, we believe that strong DE&I initiatives are the key to building better, more balanced workplaces. It’s our mission to cultivate inclusive work environments by providing businesses with progressive staffing solutions and support to reach their DE&I goals, while also creating opportunities to people with less-privileged identities.

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