While anyone of any age, class, and racial or ethnic group can contract COVID-19, new research shows the coronavirus pandemic is disproportionately impacting black moms at both work and home. New research from the nonprofit organization LeanIn.org and SurveyMonkey found that not only are black women more likely to have lost their job or income as a result of the current pandemic, but they're also more likely to be carrying heavier workloads at home when it comes to caregiving and housework.
In a SurveyMonkey Audience poll of nearly 3,000 U.S. adults conducted online in early April, LeanIn.org found that black women were twice as likely as white men to have been laid off, furloughed, or given reduced hours or pay as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. In fact, 54% of black women reported having experienced at least one of the above employment changes compared to 27% of white men.
LeanIn.org and SurveyMonkey aren't the first to find that women are more likely than men to experience job loss as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. According to Forbes, data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) showed that women accounted for 55% of all job losses reported in April despite making up 49% of the country's overall workforce.
However, compounding the issue is the fact that LeanIn.org and SurveyMonkey also found that women were, in general, twice as likely to report not having the financial safety net needed to cover the cost of basic necessities should they lose their income. And again, black women appeared to be disproportionately impacted, being three times as likely as white men to express this financial concern.
But according to LeanIn.org's research, the workplace wasn't the only area where black women appear to be disproportionately impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. A separate online SurveyMonkey Audience poll of more than 3,100 U.S. adults also conducted in April found that while women are taking on a larger amount of household and caregiving duties during the coronavirus pandemic, these burdens were heaviest for women of color and single moms.
At least 76% of black women reported spending three or more hours on housework a day, compared to 55% of white women and 45% of men. That means more than three quarters of black women surveyed are now spending 21 hours or more a week — the equivalent of a part-time job — on housework.
When compared to white women and men, black mothers were also found to have dedicated more hours to child care since the coronavirus pandemic first began. According to LeanIn.org, black mothers reported spending an average of 9.9 hours on child care per day for an average of 69.1 hours a week. White women, on the other hand, reported spending 8.2 hours a day on child care for a weekly average of 57.4 hours. Men, who were not sorted by racial or ethnic background, reported averaging 5.6 hours of child care a day for a weekly average of 38.9 hours.
Of course, these aren't the only ways coronavirus can impact black mothers. New research from the United Kingdom's Office of National Statistics shows black people are more than four times more likely than white people to die from COVID-19, placing them at greater risk.
While the ongoing coronavirus pandemic has disrupted the lives of millions of families across the country, casting uncertainty on jobs, income, education, child care, and more, research has shown that black mothers are facing heavier burdens both at home and at work.
If you think you’re showing symptoms of coronavirus, which include fever, shortness of breath, and cough, call your doctor before going to get tested. If you’re anxious about the virus’s spread in your community, visit the CDC for up-to-date information and resources, or seek out mental health support. You can find all of Romper’s parents + coronavirus coverage here, and Bustle’s constantly updated, general “what to know about coronavirus” here.