In 2020 alone, more than two million women left the workforce amid the COVID-19 pandemic. And experts say more could follow. But how bad can it get? Take the example of this woman who did not want to quit her job. She was doing her job and her three kids had to also follow her to work. They had to continue learning through virtual schooling inside the same office building.
Ana Rodriguez of San Lorenzo, California, is mom to Christian, 13, Alanna, 7, and Alenna, 6, who attend San Lorenzo Unified School District. Rodriguez said the schools have adopted a virtual learning model since March 2020.
Rodriguez is a senior administrator at ArborTech Tree Care — a tree and landscaping installation company located in Hayward. She said her business is essential, but when the pandemic hit, she had to decide whether to quit her job, or stay home with her kids.
“[Quitting] wasn’t an option for me,” Rodriguez told ABC News’ Good Morning America. “I said, ‘I will make it work because that’s who I am as a person.’ I didn’t want my husband to be financially responsible for everything.”
Rodriguez said she approached her employers to let them know that her children’s schools had shut down. They agreed to allow her children attend virtual school inside the office building.
“They said ‘Ana, if you can figure out what you need to do, we will support you with what is necessary,”” Rodriguez said of her bosses. She was indeed grateful for the work-life flexibility, though she knows not every woman will have employers who are willing to accommodate such situation.
“The pandemic has forced us women to choose between our families and our careers … It has put us 50 steps back in how we’re viewed in society, where we are now a teacher’s assistant, a parent and work full time”