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Child Care Conundrum

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Smith, Stacey Vanek & Wood, Darian
Publication Date: 
15 Sep 2021


In early 2019, women held the majority of jobs in the economy. It seemed like, finally, all of the efforts to gain traction in the workplace were paying off. Economics professor Betsey Stevenson remembers giving an interview in early 2020 and saying, "I can't imagine what could happen that would lead women to fall behind men again anytime in the next decade." Turns out, Betsey, like so many of us, wasn't anticipating the global pandemic.

Millions of women dropped out of the workforce, many of them to care for their children. And while women are beginning to go back to work, especially now that schools have reopened, they're going back at incredibly slow rates. Betsey believes two things could increase women's ability to thrive in the workforce. A national reconsideration of child care and a more flexible workplace.