The “Pink Collar Recession” Is Here

Many people have taken to calling our current economic downturn “the pink collar recession.” This is because the pandemic has taken an extreme toll on areas of our lives where women are prevalent. Children home from school, women-dominant jobs slashed, and more stress than ever on stay-at-home moms are all earmarks of the coronavirus crisis. And it’s taken a toll on the fairer sex across the board.

More Than Half

According to the Boston Herald, by April 2020, more than half of the people that lost jobs at the beginning of the pandemic were women. Tourism and hospitality were among the hardest-hit industries, and the most expendable positions in these are typically held by women. Flight attendants, housekeeping staff, and servers all found themselves suddenly and unexpectedly without a job.

Another hard-hit employment sector is childcare. More than 92% of child care workers are women. And with an average salary of just over $16,000, working in a daycare or aftercare program is already a low-paying position, and many moms work this job so they don’t have to pay for childcare of their own, which can easily cost more than half – sometimes more than twice – of their salary.

Compounding the problem for women is that not only are they now out of a job, they’ve also been put into a position where they have to care for their own children around the clock since childcare facilities are closed. This makes it even more difficult to find a job. But it is not impossible to earn an income, even for women unable to leave their homes for eight hours each day.

Free To Freelance

One of the few upsides to the current economic state is that it does open up opportunities for women to pursue new careers or to regain traction in careers they put on the back burner when they had children. By engaging in freelance work, women can launch their own business from home without sacrificing time with family.

There are literally thousands of possibilities when it comes to freelancing. Working as a content creator, for example, or capitalizing on exceptional organizational skills as a virtual assistant.

For those who are multi or bilingual, you can find freelancing translation and interpreting jobs through a platform like World Translation Jobs, making it easy to connect with clients across the globe, and on your schedule!

Some women have also found a lucrative side-career selling handmade jewelry, crafts, and clothing. Etsy, one of the world’s largest online marketplaces for these types of items, eBay, and even Amazon are all excellent platforms for selling unique goods.

In addition to the above, there are many jobs that can be done online, including becoming a search engine evaluator, product tester or social media manager. Of course, babysitting is another option. However, women are cautioned that, because of the coronavirus crisis, this may be putting their families at risk by bringing children from other households into their homes.

More Good News

Freelancing is not for everyone. Unfortunately, it comes with an unpredictable salary, and you have to work hard to keep your clients. Fortunately, there are many industries that are booming, and new job opportunities will likely begin opening up soon. Cybersecurity, e-learning, and online fitness are all expected to experience skyrocketing demand.

Be Prepared

To make freelancing or full-time online work for you, it’s paramount that you set yourself up for success. This means having the right technology (e.g. laptop, webcam, headset, printer) and a great space to work that doesn’t affect your productivity. Of course, we’re not suggesting that you should run out and spend a fortune on tech. With careful shopping and patience, you can find amazing deals and some of the best prices if you wait for events like Black Friday or Cyber Monday.

The pink recession has certainly left many women in a bad position. But there are options for employment, even for those who have no options for child care. No one knows when the pandemic will end. And that leaves a great deal of uncertainty where unemployment, particularly for women, stands. But those who are willing to look at alternate options may find themselves in a great position to begin a new chapter once it’s over.

Guest post by Sarah Bull from


October 2020

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