The Other Half of the PandemicIN THE SECOND EPISODE OF THE THINK DIVERSE PODCAST, PAOLA PROFETA INVESTIGATES HOW THE PANDEMIC DEALT A BLOW TO GENDER EQUALITY
The second episode of the THINK DIVERSE podcast series investigates the other half of the pandemic: how the COVID-19-induced economic crisis hit women harder and why a sustainable and inclusive recovery can’t be lacking in policies that allow women to reconcile their professional life and their family workload.
Paola Profeta, Full Professor of Public Economics and Director of Bocconi’s AXA Research Lab on Gender Equality, talks with host Catherine De Vries. She tells how women have been on the frontline in the fight on COVID, because of their overrepresentation in hospital and care jobs, but have also suffered more in terms of job losses and restrictive measures that have put a strain on family relations.
While previous crises hit mainly manufacturing and finance industries, where men are more numerous, this time the service sector, where women are disproportionately employed, has endured the worst consequences.
Furthermore, restrictions and distancing raised the amount of time devoted to housework and childcare, with women bearing the brunt of it. This endangers what we accomplished in the past in terms of gender equality, because research shows that equal sharing of housework increases the probability of women working.
Having experienced a COVID-related she-cession, we now need a she-recovery. This means investing in family policies, Professor Profeta says in the podcast: childcare, services, paternity leave (which translates into more responsibility sharing), changing cultural bias, promoting equal pay.
THINK DIVERSE is a fresh and deep look at the issues surrounding diversity and inclusion. In every episode, host Catherine De Vries, Dean for Diversity and Inclusion at Bocconi University, picks the brain of Bocconi colleagues who do actionable research about diversity and inclusion topics in order to develop knowledge that matters.
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by Fabio Todesco