Updated: October 3, 2021
During the COVID-19 pandemic women have lost jobs at a higher rate than men, and the number of employed women has fallen to levels last seen in the 1980s. Two key reasons are: 1) women—particularly women of color— are more likely to have occupations affected by the pandemic, including care and other face-to-face work; and 2) women also bear more of the responsibilities at home for caring for both children and aging parents.
NVME created a new interactive class this fall to help women explore the impacts of the pandemic on their work and home lives, take steps towards work and life changes, and to develop an action plan for making progress towards future goals. The class, Next Steps: Work and Life Beyond the Pandemic, began on September 15.
The first step in planning for the class was to hear directly from women about their experiences during the pandemic. In a survey to NVME past participants, which was also circulated online and shared by NVME partners, we asked Maine women what would be most helpful to them, and what is in the way of making progress toward their goals.
Responses from 169 women helped to determine class topics, such as building confidence; exploring careers, education and training options; and financial wellness. Four networking sessions were built into the class schedule to respond to participants’ shared interest in connecting with one another to talk about overcoming challenges and other topics.
Because systematic factors such as lack of reliable and affordable childcare options and paid family medical leave interfere with women’s participation and advancement in the workforce, NVME will reach out to and work with organizations working on a policy level to advance women’s economic security.
The class is supported in part by grants from the Maine Community Foundation and Machias Savings Bank.
For the full schedule of upcoming NVME classes, visit newventuresmaine.org.