Diverse Female Talent At Risk Due To Childcare, Goldman Sachs Reveals
In their first-ever survey associated with their One Million Black Women initiative, Goldman Sachs investigated the economic mobility journey of Black women. Most findings mirrored insights from other annual reports on Black women in corporate America. However, two data points could impact employers looking to hire or retain diverse female talent:
- 24% of Black women with children at home spend more than 20% of their income on child care (compared to 17% of U.S. adults).
- 19% of Black women seeking employment say child care is a barrier impacting their job search (compared to 11% of U.S. adults).
In their current roles, Black women with children allocate the same (or more) income to childcare expenses as others defer to retirement plans. A strained net income undoubtedly catalyzes financial stress, decreased engagement, low productivity, and anxiety. Furthermore, employees may be more inclined to take time off work to address childcare needs (rather than incur the financial burden of childcare). Frequent absenteeism can disrupt workflow and impact project deadlines. Disengaged employees are also less likely to provide diversity of thought by contributing innovative ideas.
Those employed but currently looking for new opportunities due to high childcare costs will ultimately cost employers expenses associated with recruiting, hiring, and training new employees, a loss of institutional knowledge, and hinder overall organizational effectiveness.
Worse, let’s say a new opportunity presents itself, but childcare costs still strain their budgets. In that case, they may be less inclined to accept job offers, limiting the qualified talent pool available to the organization. Thus, the cycle of exacerbated gender disparities in the workplace continues, efforts to promote diversity and inclusion stall, and the employer brand reputation suffers.
Employers must recognize these two issues that Black mothers face, not only to strengthen the economic state of the Black woman in America (as Goldman Sachs suggests) but to mitigate their organizational challenges.