Should We Pay Salaries To Moms Forced Out of the Workforce During the Pandemic?

SheSpeaksTeam By SheSpeaksTeam 03.08.21
Should We Pay Salaries To Moms Forced Out of the Workforce During the Pandemic?
It comes as no surprise that women have left the work force in record numbers since the start of the pandemic. Family, school, work and home situations have had to change drastically over the last year, leaving many no choice but to stay home. 

This is precisely why Girls Who Code CEO Reshma Saujani is calling on President Biden to implement the Marshall Plan for Moms. The name of the plan is a nod to the post World War II Marshall Plan that offered large amounts of aid to Eastern European countries to rebuild after the war.

CNN reports about the petition gaining traction, as well as signatures from many powerful people, that calls for a mom salary of $2,400 per month for “unpaid labor at home.” The plan, first proposed in January, gained a lot of attention recently when a full-page ad was published in the Washington Post calling for its implementation. The letter is signed by 50 prominent men, including actors like Don Cheadle and Colin Farrell. 

Actress, author and activist Alyssa Milano has also spoken up in favor of the plan in an opinion piece published for CNN . She says that we should pay moms for making the sacrifices that had to be made to get us through this crisis. Milano also points out the other changes the plan hopes to implement which “include passing policies that support working women such as pay equity, family leave and affordable childcare; retraining programs that will help women step into emerging jobs; and safely re-opening schools to take the childcare burden off mothers.”

Women have been hit especially hard in the last year and are currently down 5.4 million jobs as opposed to men’s job losses of 4.4 million. In the times leading up to the pandemic, women were close to equal with men - holding about 50.3% of jobs in the workforce. 

Saujani points out to CNN, "No woman made a choice to stay home and take of our children in this crisis, that choice was made for us. We are not America's social safety net. And as many of us have been essentially replacing paid labor for unpaid labor, and nobody asked us. They have put a zero value on our labor, and it's time to put a value on it.”

Whether or not the Marshall Plan for Moms will move forward is currently unknown, but Saujani is hopeful that moms will get what she feels they are due. When asked whether she has received word from the Biden administration regarding her plan she says, “I know Joe Biden cares about mothers. This is an issue that he cares about personally, and so I have no doubt that this administration will do the right thing and put together a Marshall Plan for mothers.”

Have you or friends and family had to leave the workforce to care for kids at home over the last year?

Do you think the Marshall Plan for Moms sounds like a good way to help families recover from job losses over the last year?

 

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  • SusanHN By SusanHN
    03.09.21  

    The Marshall Plan for Women is bringing up important issues. But I do wish they would focus on promoting equality in the home versus paying moms. As much as women deserve to be paid for all of the work that they do, it just doesn't feel realistic that it would happen. After all, the latest Covid relief bill barely even passed. 

  • mgs1997 By mgs1997
    03.09.21  

    After reading StephC's comment, it brought something else to mind. I went through four interviews for one of the jobs I applied to, after graduating from business school. For each interview, I stepped up my level of preparation, analyzing the company's customers, business model, and principles. I was ready to answer the tough questions and prove myself as a business leader. In the final interview, they asked me when I planned to have children. 

  • StephC By StephC
    03.09.21  

    I think we do need to discuss how women can be compensated for this time financially (not just during a pandemic)  and erase the stigma of a resume "gap."  Staying home was a necessity until my children were in school full-time - the cost of childcare for 3 small children was too great. When heading back into the workforce full-time, I was forced to answer for that time from potential employers, often with raised eyebrows. 

  • mgs1997 By mgs1997
    03.09.21  

    I echo @emimorgan's sentiment. I support the Marshall Plan for Moms, but it's not a solution for women's unequal burden of childcare. I am glad that the Marshall Plan for Moms is bring this inequity to light, though. It's moving the needle. 

  • emimorgan By emimorgan
    03.09.21  

    I am all for more support for women from the institutions in our country. That said, I would like to see the conversation about women's unpaid work at home focus on how to achieve equality with men in the long term, so that the unpaid labor is not falling to women by default. How do we fix that?

  • didama By didama
    03.09.21  

    Women do over $10 Trillion of unpaid work each year. It is hard for women to get good life insurance policies if they are stay at home moms because they are doing uncompensated work. I think paying parents for this type of work could be a good move.

  • WholeSoul By WholeSoul
    03.08.21  

    I have to look more into the Marshall Plan for Moms but it definitely sounds like a good idea. As a mom-to-be, going back to work scares me. I work on airplanes and am in constant direct contact with the public. I'm currently contemplating switching departments or taking an extended leave due to the pandemic.

    Also, my sister had to start working from home to be with her child due to daycare closing and her husband having to physically go to work because he's a hospital doctor. Thankfully, they were fortunate enough to hire a live-in nanny, but that is not the case for most Americans. This plan should definitely be considered and acted on.

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