Women are one-third more likely to work in a sector that was shut down, more likely to be furloughed and 47 percent more likely to have lost or quit their jobs during Covid. On top of that, women take on more childcare responsibilities and household work than men.

The Salon, a women’s club that launched last March in Lawrenceville, is offering a series of free, expert-led Zoom panels this week on how the pandemic has impacted women in the economy. Register online for Centering Women in Economic Recovery and attend any or all five of the discussions.

Each day at noon from Jan. 25-29, different speakers will explore Covid’s regional impact and discuss the policies and actions needed to build a more female-forward infrastructure that supports gender equity. Participants are invited to ask questions and offer their own insight.

In an interview with NEXTpittsburgh, Anne Sekula, co-founder of The Salon, said the individuals and groups the club has partnered with over the past 10 months have been strong voices for women and gender equity and it was important to share their insight with a larger community.

More than 150 people have already signed up for the virtual event series, which will stream live on Facebook each day for one hour. NEXTpittsburgh is a media sponsor.

  • Monday’s topic, presented by the Women & Girls Foundation, centers on state and federal policy.
  • On Tuesday, Pittsburgh Business Group on Healthcare tackles the private sector and business response.
  • Local government and public reaction to the crisis will be covered on Wednesday.
  • Thursday is focused on community and nonprofits via Nonprofit Talent.
  • Trying Together wraps up the series on Friday with insight on childcare and public education.
Photos courtesy of The Salon.

In preparation for the event, Sekula and her business partner, Cathy Lewis Long, reached out to female leaders from organizations with expertise in policy, business, community, the public sector and education. Speakers include Claire Ewing-Nelson of the National Women’s Law Center, Michelle McMurray of The Pittsburgh Foundation, Carol Joyner of Family Values @ Work, Rosamaria Cristello of the Latino Community Center, Rochelle Jackson of Black Women’s Policy Agenda, Bobbi Watt Geer of United Way of Southwestern PA and more.

Sekula and Lewis Long also researched the latest data on the “she-cession,” the economic fallout of Covid and how it disproportionately affects women.

Sekula says she hopes the silver lining of the pandemic is that employers — and society in general — better understand the needs of working mothers.

Kristy Locklin

Kristy Locklin is a North Hills-based writer. When she's not busy reporting, she enjoys watching horror movies and exploring Pittsburgh's craft beer scene.