Women are feeling the burden of the workplace due to the coronavirus pandemic more than men, according to a new study.
The pandemic has impacted lives across the US, from financial struggles and stress to job loss and job dissatisfaction. The way in which we work (and live) has also changed — and potentially could be changed forever. But a year into the pandemic is starting to show how women — specifically women-owned businesses — are taking longer to recover from the pandemic compared to businesses owned by men.
FreshBooks, an accounting software firm, released a new survey claiming women-owned businesses are taking three-times longer to recover from financial setbacks and stresses compared to male-owned businesses.
The study, which took place between July and September 2020, interviewed 2,220 self-employed women and men, and asked them how their business was performing and adapting during the pandemic. It covered multiple industries, including education, social assistance, construction, among others.
When comparing invoice revenue across all industries, the study found that men who owned businesses experienced a “short-lived dip” of about three weeks out or range, but women suffered far greater. In fact, women-owned businesses experienced a 10-week dip out of the average range, and haven’t recovered to pre-pandemic levels, according to the study.
The reasoning for the slower recovery revolves around multiple reasons, including lockdowns and social distancing that affected women-dominant industries like education and healthcare, according to the survey. Additionally, women have taken on additional home duties, such as taking care of virtual learning, home needs, or becoming caregivers.
Another troubling finding is how 69% of women saw a decrease in revenue during the pandemic, a higher number than men who saw a 59% decrease.
The road to recovery is not any easier. Thirty-five percent of all participants said it will take six months to a year for their business to recover to pre-COVID levels, while 28% expected an immediate recovery. However, when the numbers were broken between genders, more men who owned businesses expected an immediate recovery while women owned businesses said the six month-to-year range was more realistic.
Twenty-one percent of women said recovery efforts will take more than a year, according to the study.
Small businesses, in general, are getting hurt by clients and their ability to make ends meet during the pandemic. Here’s a run down on the state of the problems small business are facing during the pandemic:
- 16% said they had clients with budget or affordability issues.
- 13% said they receive late payments or no payment at all.
- 12% said they had clients that cancelled retainers or projects.
- 12% said social distancing was the main reason for revenue loss.
- 6% said they lost revenue due to cancelled events.
- 3% said they lowered their rates to retain clients.