BusinessEducationPandemic Could Worsen Educational Inequity for Women

Pandemic Could Worsen Educational Inequity for Women

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The pandemic may have long-term consequences on women’s ability to earn degrees and make inroads in the workforce, and higher-education leaders across the state say schools should be coming up with better ways to help women achieve their goals.

Western Governors University Regional Vice President Alison Bell said she works frequently with women who want to increase their skill sets so they can get better jobs – but the pandemic forced many to abandon their studies to care for children or other relatives.

“Prior to the pandemic women spent four hours each day on unpaid work, on average,” said Bell. “And now, it’s increased to 15 or more hours each week of unpaid work.”

According to the Indiana Institute for Working Families, about four in ten Hoosier women have experienced a loss of employment income in their household since March of last year.

Bell added that higher-ed institutions across the state, especially community colleges and schools catering to a working population, should further tailor their programs to meet women’s needs.

“Women need options that allow them to still take care of all of their priorities,” said Bell, “and something that’s affordable, so that they can create opportunities for themselves.”

More than a year after the pandemic, about one in twelve Black women and one in 11 Latina women remain unemployed, according to the National Women’s Law Center.

Support for this reporting was provided by Lumina Foundation

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La pandemia puede tener consecuencias a largo plazo en la capacidad de las mujeres para obtener titulos y avanzar en la fuerza laboral, y los lideres de la educacion superior en todo el estado dicen que las escuelas deberian idear mejores formas de ayudar a las mujeres para lograr sus objetivos.

La vicepresidenta regional de Western Governors University, Alison Bell, dice que trabaja con frecuencia con mujeres que desean aumentar sus habilidades para poder obtener mejores trabajos, pero la pandemia obligo a muchas a abandonar sus estudios para cuidar de ninos u otros parientes.

“Antes de la pandemia, en promedio, las mujeres pasaban cuatro horas diarias en trabajo no remunerado, dice Bell. “Y ahora ha aumentado a mas de 15 horas semanales.”

Segun el Instituto de Indiana para Familias Trabajadoras, aproximadamente cuatro de cada diez mujeres de Indiana han experimentado una perdida de ingresos laborales en su hogar desde marzo del ano pasado.

Bell agrega que las instituciones de educacion superior en todo el estado, especialmente los colegios comunitarios y las escuelas que atienden a la clase trabajadora, deben adaptar aun mas sus programas para satisfacer las necesidades de las mujeres.

“Las mujeres necesitan opciones que les permitan seguir ocupandose de todas sus prioridades,” subraya Bell. “Y algo que sea economico, para que puedan crear oportunidades para ellas mismas.”

A mas de un ano despues de la pandemia, aproximadamente una de cada doce mujeres negras y una de cada 11 mujeres latinas siguen desempleadas, segun el Centro Nacional de Leyes de la Mujer.

La Fundacion Lumina proporciono apoyo para este informe.

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