CBS 2 is taking a look at the future of the working world, particularly for women.


So many have left their jobs during the pandemic. President Joe Biden even called COVID-19’s effect on women a “national emergency.”

Morning Insider Lauren Victory takes us inside a mini-renaissance that may be on the horizon for working parents.

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“We’ve seen since the start of the pandemic, 2.1 million women leave the labor force. That means they are no longer even searching for jobs,” said Andy Challenger, senior vice president at job placement firm Challenger Gray & Christmas.

Andy Challenger, SVP, on CBSN Chicago

That’s 20% higher than men, according to Challenger, who said his firm continuously hears that difficulties with childcare are one of the main reasons women’s exodus from the workforce.

“We know that women tend to make less than men, on average, and I think a lot of couples are making decisions based on the numbers,” he said.

It’s a cold reality, but Challenger said some businesses are warming up to the idea of including daycare and babysitting as part of compensation. (Related: She-cession Update: How Employers Can Bring Back and Retain Women Talent)

“Both men and women will appreciate that incredibly,” he said.

Another possible benefit of the future: flexible working hours.

“Companies that are smart are going to take a pro-active approach here and start figuring out ways to entice women back into their organizations, make it as easy as possible,” Challenger said.

Related: She-cession Hits the C-Suite: CEO Turnover, Women’s Gains Fall in January