Baltimore women report stress and discrimination at work during the COVID-19 pandemic, survey shows - Technical.ly Baltimore

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Baltimore women report stress and discrimination at work during the COVID-19 pandemic, survey shows

A new report from the Greater Baltimore Committee and Towson University looks at data and solutions behind how the pandemic's impact on women in the workplace.

Remote work.

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Work overload. Discrimination. Job dissatisfaction.

Those are among the working conditions that Greater Baltimore Committee (GBC) and Towson University found after surveying the impact of the pandemic on women in the Baltimore region.

Similar to what our sister site Technical.ly Philly reported at the beginning of the year, it shows that women in the workforce are uniquely affected by the pandemic while balancing work and life.

The 20-minute online survey was birthed from widespread reports that more than two million women have left the workforce since the pandemic began. The National Women’s Law Center reported that women lost 12.2 million jobs between February and April 2020. Fortune reported on a McKinsey and Company analysis of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Current Population Survey that found unemployment numbers were roughly equal between men and women in February 2020. By April, unemployment for women peaked at 15.8% — 2% percent higher than men. By September of last year, 80% of the 1.1 million people who exited the workforce were women.

“The survey results highlight that the pandemic has had a negative effect on women in the workplace in the Baltimore region,” said Donald Fry, CEO of the GBC, in a statement. “Employers run the risk of losing high-quality employees and diversity in the workplace unless they work to understand and address employee needs in this very stressful time for everyone.”

GBC said 443 people responded to the 20-minute online survey, conducted from March to June of this year. About 80% were female, and 20% were male. The key issue areas for the respondents were turnover intention (considering leaving current employment), stress and discrimination.

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In terms of intention to leave their current employer:

  • 64% of respondents said they were not satisfied with their job
  • 46%, or almost half, responded they could find a comparable job if they left their current employment
  • 59.5%, or more than half, report feeling their organization does not care about their opinions

In terms of how stressful their current employer is:

  • 64% of respondents said they are not satisfied with their job
  • 46%, or almost half, responded they could find a comparable job if they left their current employment
  • 59.5%, or more than half, report feeling their organization does not care about their opinions

In terms of discrimination in the workplace:

  • Almost 25%, or one fourth, report there is discrimination on their job
  • More than 21%, or one-fifth, report employees are treated differently based on their race or ethnic group
  • More than 23% felt they have been “singled out” due to their gender

But the survey also offered solutions. Workers said employers can retain and support their staff by:

  • Respect and value time off
  • Provide clarity about post-pandemic work options (i.e. remote)
  • Provide better technology, more training and sharing of best practices for working in a remote environment
  • Be mindful that older workers feel “picked on” to retire

“The findings of this survey underscore that many women in the Baltimore region are stressed at work and in their family responsibilities due to the ongoing pandemic,” said Dr. Gabby Swab, assistant professor in the department of management at Towson University. “They are looking for support, guidance and communication from employers, with others seriously considering leaving their job.”

GBC is planning public events to discuss solutions, according to a news release.


Donte Kirby is a 2020-2022 corps member for Report for America, an initiative of The Groundtruth Project that pairs young journalists with local newsrooms. This position is supported by the Robert W. Deutsch Foundation. -30-
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