COVID Closures More Likely to Impact Women in Business

Adam Jacobson


February 1, 2021

A new Facebook survey of more than 25,000 small business owners, managers and employees in approximately 50 countries showed that shutdowns from the COVID-19 pandemic have disproportionately affected women-owned businesses. Conducted in cooperation with the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development and the World Bank, the survey showed that women were more likely to be impacted by the shutdowns because they were more likely to operate “non-essential” businesses. Female business leaders also faced increasing domestic responsibilities, including homeschooling and caring for dependents.

While 26% of male business leaders reported spending more time on domestic tasks, 31% of female business leaders reported the same, and 23% of female business leaders with a partner spent more than six hours per day on domestic tasks, compared to only 12% of male business leaders. Additionally, 25% of female business leaders reported that homeschooling affected their focus on work, compared to 19% of male business leaders, while household chores affected 41% of female leaders and 27% of male leaders, and looking after children was disruptive for 31% of female leaders and 24% of males.

Adam Jacobson is associate editor of Risk Management.