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COVID Reality: Data Shows Women Bear Disproportionate Impact Of Pandemic Unemployment

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- While data shows a drop in unemployment overall, some woman have stopped looking for work altogether.

As CBS2's Aundrea Cline-Thomas reported Wednesday, women are bearing a disproportionate impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

Sally Reyes is always searching for a new job, but her few prospects have led to a dead end.

"I'm homeschooling my daughter, so I can only work these days, or I can only work after this time," said Reyes. "Let's be real, guys. Who is going to hire you over the man who is fully available?"

Homeschooling is among the factors that are projected to erase the gains women have made in the workforce.


After a career as a bartender, Reyes now joins 3 million women who have left the workforce during the pandemic.

"We're backtracking in our progression in the workplace," Reyes said. "We fought for so many years to get equal rights."

Back in the fall, four times as many women left the workforce than men. Women accounted for all of the jobs lost in December, alone.

"What we need to focus on is, how do we bring these women back into the workforce," said Cate Luzio, founder of Luminary. "What is that going to look like? Twenty five years of unemployment gains, gone in a year."

Luminary is a collaboration hub that focuses on women's advancement in the workforce through curating events, creating networking opportunities and corporate partnerships.

"We're created a fellowship program both for women who have had their business impacted, particularly women of color, and those who have been impacted, right, I have to leave my job," Luzio said.


Luzio said businesses need to create more work flexibility and rethink hiring practices, like removing the stigma associated with employment gaps on a candidate's resume.

"And oh, by the way, we've got to get the men on board to help us do this together," said Luzio.

Reyes is working odd jobs to supplement her unemployment.

"I have no choice but to make it happen," she said.

She's trying to make it happen for her daughter, despite the obstacles in her path.

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