Zoom Out To Lunch

Bernard & Mary Jo: How Covid-19 hits women hardest

Newsroom Pro’s Bernard Hickey and Kiwibank Economist Mary Jo Vergara zoom out for lunch to talk to The Workshop's public policy economist Jess Berentson-Shaw about how women are being hit hardest by the lockdown and what a post-Covid-19 world of work may look like for women.

Vergara and Berentson-Shaw point out women are over-represented in part-time work, hospitality, health, education and aged care, which has been most heavily affected by the lock-down. Many are also being hit by a double whammy of having to work at home and look after children or other relatives.

They look at what policy options might be considered, including some form of unconditional income for families and children, along with whether women's place in the workplace may benefit in the same way as after World War II and the late 1980s.

Women joined the workforce during the war and many were able to stay afterwards, while men were hit hardest during the recessions of the late 1980s and early 1990s in New Zealand because of the wholesale destruction of the manufacturing sector. See more here in Mary Jo's note.

This is part of a daily 'Bernard and Jarrod Zoom out for Lunch' webinar series during the lockdown. Mary Jo was standing in for Jarrod Kerr, who is Kiwibank's Chief Economist.

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