“(As of June 2020) Fifty-two percent of women workers have experienced one or more impacts to their employment situation as a result of the pandemic, including reduced work hours (24%), layoffs (16%), reduced salaries (13%), furloughs (13%), and/or early retirement (four%).” (Source)
Okay – that’s the last statistic I’m going to throw at you for a while. After all, it’s one thing to look at the numbers. It’s something else entirely to see how the pandemic has affected our female family and friends, not only financially but mentally as well.
When I started writing this piece, I decided that one of the most impactful ways I could look at the effects of the pandemic on women and finances was to reach out and talk to friends and colleagues. It’s one thing to look at what’s happen in the abstract; it’s another thing entirely to get personal.
Shana: A Teacher’s View
I teach 6th grade, have four young kids at home who are 2nd grade and younger, and my husband often works out of town. Right now, I’m forced to balance teaching my class via Zoom and caring for my own children. To say I’m on overload is an understatement.
If there is a silver lining it’s this: teachers’ incomes have not changed, and they continue to receive their usual compensation…but at what cost to their overall sanity? Right now, my family is hanging on financially due to two incomes, however I might have to consider changing careers because I can’t continue teaching if I’m required to return to the classroom to teach. If I have to make a choice, that will also affect my future pension.
Debbie: A Nurse’s Insight
As the COO of Foundation for Medical Care, I work hand-in-hand with the healthcare industry and the people of the Kern County community. Like everyone else, I’ve felt the strain of the pandemic and the stress of dealing with opposing views about everything from safety precautions to mask wearing to my personal and professional role as caregiver.
In the healthcare industry, my workforce is considered essential, so we have, fortunately, not seen the job loss that others have experienced. However, the spouses of many of our staff members have been laid off in various industries, which has added an additional burden to the people I work with.
And even though essential workers have the benefit of a regular paycheck, the strain of working in healthcare is sometimes too much. Two of my friends who are registered nurses decide to retire due to the pandemic; they went from working part time to retirement this last year because of the intense working conditions.
On a personal note, my sister, a Kern County hairdresser experienced an immediate stop to her income when the lockdown began. She has a working spouse and was able to save for years which helped cushion the blow, but she has since given up her lifetime business because of the pandemic.
The pandemic has provided many of us with stories and experiences we would have rather skipped in our lifetimes, especially the lasting burden of financial strain. But it’s important to share your story with others if you feel comfortable. When you do, you’ll often find…
- It gives others the permission to share their own burden with you. And sometimes a burden shared is a burden lessened.
- Listening to others allows us to come together as a community and help.
- By sharing your story and explaining to others what you might need, you’ll sometimes learn about resources you didn’t even know existed.
As for me, I would love to know your story and how you’re navigating this time financially. The Kern County community is one that I love deeply, so if I can offer any expertise that might help during this time, I would be honored to do so.
Where do we go from here?
At this point, we’ve looked at the statistics and how the pandemic is affecting some of us personally. Next, we’re going to talk to Richard Chapman with the Kern Economic Development Corporation and find out how our community is doing overall. It’s important to stay informed and educated about what’s going on and how we can all pull together during this crisis.
Debbie Charpentier has been serving clients since 1989 by using a holistic, comprehensive approach that helps clients create the life they value and the legacy they envision. Charpentier Wealth Strategies is a Bakersfield, CA Financial Planning practice that offers fee-based financial planning services. To contact Debbie, email Debbie.Charpentier@LFG.com. http://charpentierwealth.com/
Debra Charpentier is a registered representative of Lincoln Financial Advisors Corp. Securities and advisory services offered through Lincoln Financial Advisors Corp., Member SIPC. Branch Office: 5001 California Avenue, Bakersfield, CA 93309 (661) 322-5204. Lincoln Financial Advisors is not affiliated with Charpentier Wealth Strategies. CRN-3420738-012521