The workforce dynamics for women have been undergoing significant changes in recent years. After nearly two million women left the workforce in 2020, there are now signs indicating their return. The so-called ‘Shecession’ caused by the pandemic is starting to fade, as labor force participation for women in the US has almost returned to pre-pandemic levels.
Several factors contribute to this positive trend, including more reliable schooling options, fewer business closures, and an improved public health outlook. Additionally, industries that heavily employ women, such as kindergarten and preschool teaching, speech language pathology, and licensed vocational nursing, have experienced growth.
However, despite the progress, women still face significant barriers when attempting to return to work. Ageism poses a challenge, with older female workers more likely to be let go or face employment rejections. Caregiving responsibilities also disproportionately affect women, with childcare costs exceeding college tuition in many states. Taking career breaks for caregiving often leads to negative outcomes, such as reduced earnings and feeling undervalued.
To support their return to the office, women are adopting various strategies. Professional mentorship has proven beneficial, boosting self-esteem, promotion opportunities, and overall confidence. Pursuing hybrid roles, which provide flexibility, has also eased the burden. Some women are also investing in themselves through plastic surgery, aiming to regain confidence in their physical appearance.