Financial adviser Sheryl Sutherland is warning that women may end up worse off than men in the Covid-19 environment, and are more likely to have a tougher road to recovery.
Sutherland says that although men have historically been hit harder than women in an economic downturn, the proportion of women who work in retail, travel and hospitality - some of the hardest hit sectors in the current recession - means we’ll see a different trend this time around.
She says the pay disparity between men and women will also play its part, along with the proportion of women in lower-paid roles such as nursing, teaching and aged care.
“[Men] work in industries closely tied to economic cycles such as construction and manufacturing, however this time round the shovel ready industries will be first off the rank, Sutherland said.
“There are two main reasons that will exacerbate the situation for women. One is the lack of pay parity, and the second is that there are more women in low paid part-time roles or work in what I call ‘ghettos’, where women are paid less purely because historically and currently, their work is considered "women’s work". These include areas like midwifery, nursing, teaching and rest home carers.
“Additionally, women are caregivers and homemakers, roles that are usually unpaid as well.”
Sutherland noted that according to the Harvard Business Review, women often put themselves up for jobs that they’re overqualified for. She says that in tough times, it is more important than ever for women to back themselves, be ambitious know their worth.
“Statistics consistently show that women don’t back themselves and their skills, and this is hugely problematic when it comes to their financial security,” she explained.
“Don’t bury your head in the sand or think things will work themselves out. Take control and seek professional advice to help insulate yourself against the far reaching effects of Covid-19."