New study shows women leaving jobs at a higher rate during the pandemic

TULSA, Okla. — Before COVID-19, studies showed men and women leaving jobs at comparable rates. Now, a new report shows women are leaving jobs in much higher numbers, with many leaving the workforce altogether.

Kenny Colbert, CEO of the Employers Association, says women are losing jobs but also leaving in droves by choice.

“Whether we like it or not, females are caretakers so they’re missing work for this... number one to take care of sick family members or number two to educate children who are now doing virtual learning,” Colbert says.

Experts say larger companies are typically better equipped to deal with women taking time off thanks to progressive leave policies which smaller companies may not have. Regardless, Colbert says female employees need flexibility and companies need to adapt.

He says companies need to make targeted efforts to bring women back into the workplace.

“Not preferential treatment or anything like that but make a concerted effort to get them to the interviewing table, " Colbert added.

He says something companies can do right now is define their absentee policies, adding information on paid vs. unpaid leave, health insurance, and the guarantee of a job once people return from leave.