Ahead of Hearing, Select Subcommittee Releases New Evidence of Pandemic’s Disproportionate Harm to Working Women
Washington, D.C. (May 17, 2022) – Today, the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis, chaired by Rep. James E. Clyburn, released a memorandum with new evidence of disproportionate harm women working for hourly wages faced during the first year of the coronavirus pandemic. The memorandum precedes today’s scheduled 11:45 a.m. ET hearing entitled “Underpaid, Overworked, and Underappreciated: How the Pandemic Economy Disproportionately Harmed Low-Wage Women Workers.”
The memorandum is the Select Subcommittee’s first release of data from its December 2021 survey of 12 of the nation’s largest employers, each of which were reported to have significant layoffs in 2020. Available in full here, the memorandum finds that in 2020, women working for hourly wages at these companies disproportionately experienced negative employment outcomes compared to their male hourly coworkers.
Chairman Clyburn released the following statement about the memorandum:
“Today’s memorandum provides new support for what has long been understood: the effects of this pandemic have been disproportionately felt by women working jobs with low pay and few benefits. I look forward to hearing more at today’s hearing about these harms and how they can be remedied to ensure that our nation’s hardworking women are able to care for and provide for their families as they make essential contributions to building a stronger and more inclusive post-crisis economy.”
The Select Subcommittee reached this finding by analyzing data on seven key employment outcomes—furloughs, layoffs, terminations, voluntary departures, wage reductions, wage increases, and promotions—at the 12 surveyed companies for 2019, 2020, and 2021. In 2020, the year of the pandemic-induced economic downturn, women in these companies’ hourly workforces experienced disproportionately harmful employment outcomes (i.e., worse outcomes than their male counterparts) more than twice as often as men experienced such outcomes (i.e., worse outcomes than women). The surveyed companies were AT&T, Berkshire Hathaway, Boeing, Chevron, Cisco, Citigroup, Comcast, Exxon Mobil, Oracle, Salesforce, Walmart, and the Walt Disney Company.
The Select Subcommittee’s analysis of the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic on American workers, including any inequity in such impacts, remains ongoing, and additional findings from the December 2021 survey are anticipated later this year.
Click here for a link to today’s hearing.
Click here to read today’s memorandum.