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A report highlights COVID-19’s disproportionate impact on Connecticut women

Restaurant Worker Personal Protective Equipment
Charles Krupa

Women in Connecticut have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic, according to a report released by Girls With Impact, a non-profit providing women's educational support services.

The report found that the hardest hit jobs were in professions where women made up a majority of workers including education, healthcare and the food industries.

“Women have been called the 'shock absorbers' of this crisis,” said Jennifer Openshaw, CEO of Girls With Impact.

Shaena McPadden, vice president at J.P. Morgan Private Bank, which supports the group, said it is critical for women to have an equal opportunity to participate in our economy.

“The report is critically important and it comes at a time when we are still in the midst of fighting this COVID-19 pandemic,” she said. "We must invest and train people, especially women, right here and now, right here in Connecticut to unlock as much future potential as possible.”

State Treasurer Shawn Wooden said Connecticut needs to focus its recovery efforts on women in the workplace.

“There has been a disproportionate impact of the pandemic and the economic downturn on women and particularly women of color,” he said. “Connecticut needs to do better in getting women back to work, removing barriers, moving up the economic ladder and getting women paid what they deserve.”

The report makes recommendations for the state to provide child care assistance for women who want to return to work and additional job training options.

John is a former news fellow with WSHU Public Radio.