COVID-19 May Turn the Clock Back On Female Entrepreneurship
Statistics Canada confirms small and medium enterprises (SMEs) with under 20 employees have been the hardest hit during the pandemic, and because women are more likely to own newer and smaller businesses, they are most affected.
During the pandemic, 40.6 per cent of women-owned businesses had to lay off employees. Among them, women-owned business laid off a disproportionately a higher percentage of their workers — 62 per cent laid off 80 per cent of their employees, which is much higher than the 45 per cent observed for most businesses.
Not only are women shouldering the brunt of unemployment, they are also bearing the burden of unpaid caregiving, including child care, home schooling, household duties and elder care. The top challenge identified by women entrepreneurs is child care. Women report feeling like failures at both roles of worker and parent, adding to mental health challenges and family stress.