As part of a special Women’s History Month segment, Meg Baker ’07, a reporter with CBS New York, interviewed Susan Averett, Charles A. Dana Professor of Economics, about the toll the COVID-19 pandemic has had on women.

The economic crisis triggered by the pandemic has had a significant impact on working women. So much so the recession has been dubbed a “shecession,” Averett shared. Not only have thousands of women dropped out of the workforce because of the closure of schools and the lack of child care, but their jobs were affected disproportionately to men. “Jobs that are typically recession-proof, like services and nonessential health care, that are dominated by women, were really hit hard,” Averett said in the interview.

It’s a topic Averett has discussed with students in Women and the Economy, a course that covers a wide range of economic issues relating to women’s lives with an emphasis on family, work, and income. Averett’s current research focuses on underrepresented women working in STEM fields and the effects of noise and light pollution on infant health. She is the co-author of the textbook Women and the Economy: Family Work and Pay; a fourth edition will come out in 2021.

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