HomeLearning Center2021: A Mixed Bag for Women

2021: A Mixed Bag for Women

The year 2021 was a mixed bag for women, with momentous gains notched alongside disheartening losses. 

 On the plus side, we saw the first woman – who is also the first woman of color – sworn in as Vice President of the United States. We saw a historic number of women take their seats in Congress, in the President’s Cabinet, as mayors of large cities, and in state legislatures. We saw a record number of women hired to lead key news outlets.

On the loss side, we saw the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbate the gender inequalities that had already existed.  “Women disproportionately lost jobs, disproportionately reduced their work hours, and disproportionately increased the time they spent on child care and household responsibilities,” said Andrea Kramer, a lawyer who advises organizations on how to achieve a truly diverse workplace. 

Indeed, the pandemic hit women much harder than men as close to 2 million women were forced to drop out of the workforce, usually because of childcare issues. It’s unclear how many of these women will return to the workplace.

The pandemic also led to a decline in women being hired for leadership roles – a painful step back.

As we look forward to welcoming a new year, here is a more detailed listing of some of the most important gains and losses for American women during 2021.



 Happy News

Jan K. Collins

Jan Collins is a Columbia, South Carolina-based journalist, author and editor.


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