Women in the Workforce: Where Have All the Women Gone?
According to the US Department of Labor, from February 2020 to September 2022, the U.S. labor force lost 1.067 million women. Well, “lost” is one way to phrase it. But are they really lost? We think not. In reality, quite a lot of them have found themselves.
They’ve found themselves needing to care for their children. They’ve found themselves caring for aging parents. They’ve found themselves wanting something more than working 9-to-5, at the whim of someone else’s choices and decisions about how they spend their time. And they’ve found themselves still having so much to offer and contribute, professionally, in addition to taking care of the responsibilities and “need-to-dos” in their lives.
Women are multi-faceted, intelligent, competent, and accomplished (among many other positive attributes – too numerous to count!). We are unique individuals. As such, we thrive and succeed when we’re allowed the freedom to work when and where is best for each of us. Cookie-cutter workspaces and timeframes do not work well for the majority of us. Realizing this, and offering remote freelance work options allows more women to continue to make their professional contributions and support themselves, their families, and their communities.
Earlier this year, an analysis of a Gallup study found that 66 percent of women considered greater work-life balance as the most important factor when looking for work. Coming in second, at 62 percent, was finding work that allows them to do what they do best.
When each of us succeeds, we all succeed. The trickle-up from one person’s success and contributions, multiplied by all of us, ultimately has a positive impact on our communities and our economy as a whole. More financial stability and more discretionary income fuels local businesses – markets, theaters, restaurants, boutiques, salons, coffee shops, toy stores, pet stores, etc. – which contributes to the cities, counties, and states fueling our national economy.
The Washington Post reported, “The economy has seldom seen such a mismatch between so much demand for workers and so few people willing to work.” Clearly, it’s not that so few people are willing to work. More likely, it’s that so many more people are valuing their time and skills, than ever before, and are looking for solutions that encompass and accommodate both.
The key is getting business owners on board and hiring skilled women remote workers. Getting them to see the benefits to their business – of getting day-to-day tasks and projects done skillfully and for less than it would cost them to hire in-office workers – as well as their supporting women remote freelance workers and our local and national economies. Truly, a win-win solution.
We’ve found the “lost” workforce of women. Now, we just have to meet them where they are and utilize their skills and abilities for the betterment of us all.
If there’s a topic you’d like to know more about, please let me know. Check back to see what I’m going to talk about next time!