Leaving working women out of America's COVID-19 economic recovery plan could be a grim error, said Elaine Parker, President of the Job Creators Network Foundation – but there are ways lawmakers can help.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, men have surpassed pre-pandemic employment levels, Parker told Fox Business. However, nearly a million fewer women are working today compared to 2019. Women held fewer jobs than men before the pandemic, Parker added, and they lost more than 1.5 million more jobs than men.
Parker noted that this gap is due to gender roles and historical norms regarding women in the workplace. The expectation that women remain the primary caregiver for children, family members, and spouses, Parker noted, is a huge impediment to a working woman's ability to achieve her career goals. Additionally, she believes that issues in the economy impact women more than men because female business owners are in the minority, and their businesses often bring in less revenue than their male counterparts. Parker mentions that female small business owners within her network are struggling to obtain the right supplies as a result of inflation.
"Out-of-control government spending and domestic energy production policies fly in the face of common sense," Parker told Fox Business. "High inflation is injecting a near-lethal dose of uncertainty into the economy. Small businesses are being forced to eat added expenses."
As for how to include women in the groundswell of hiring, Parker said that lawmakers have several options. She noted that cutting income taxes is an effective policy that permits entrepreneurs to keep more of their own money, which they can use to hire more employees or raise wages. Parker also suggested deregulating occupational licensing systems, so people can start small businesses without paying thousands of dollars for extra certifications. Additionally, she said policymakers should revise their agendas to curb inflation and reinvest in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.