Seven charts that show COVID-19’s impact on women’s employment

Women around the world have been deeply affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has heightened the large and small inequalities—both at work and at home—that women face daily. For this year’s International Women’s Day, which UN Women has themed “Women in leadership: Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world,” we have curated a series of charts that McKinsey has published over the past year that illustrate the pandemic’s gender effect, what it might cost society over time, and what could help set the course for a brighter future.

Before COVID-19, women had slowly been making some progress in the workplace

Representation of women in the workforce by level

Our pre-COVID-19 research had never shown women opt out of the workforce at higher rates than men

Average company employee attrition rate in US

But COVID-19 dealt a major setback

Workers considering downshifting their career but not leaving the workplace in 2020

Women are feeling more pressure at work than men are

Consistent feelings at work in past few months

And the effects—both at work and at home—have been worst for women in emerging economies

Challenges during COVID-19

Acting now to improve gender equity could add $13 trillion to global GDP

GDP impact to 2030 of moves made toward gender parity

But advancing gender equity will require a focus on how work is changing

Estimated percentage increase in number of occupation transitions between pre- and post-COVID-19

This article was edited by Justine Jablonska, an editor based in the New York office.