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Toward an Inclusive Recovery: Understanding and Empowering Women’s Economic Participation

October 21, 2021 @ 11:00 am 1:15 pm EDT

Working mom holding baby

Join us October 21 for a research seminar that will explore issues related to women’s economic declines during the pandemic and the ability of women to participate equally in existing markets, post-recession.

Seminar details

The COVID-19 pandemic and its economic ramification has disproportionally impacted women. This so-called “she-cession” is throwing away decades of hard-won battles both in terms of gender equality and women’s economic gains. Women, particularly women of color, are more likely to work in the sectors hit hardest by economic closures, including healthcare, retail, and the informal economy. Women are more impacted by the burdens of caregiving—including caring for children and elderly parents who are now at home rather than at school or living on their own. Additionally, women entrepreneurs are also often less likely than men to have access to the loans and other financial services that help businesses weather a downturn.  

Even before the pandemic, the World Economic Forum estimated that it would take 250 years to close the economic gender gap. How can we ensure economic recovery efforts include and support women? More broadly, how do we create a more equitable economic environment that offers the tools, resources and opportunities women need to thrive? 

This seminar will examine these important questions related to women’s economic declines during the pandemic and their ability to participate equally in the post-recession labor market. The first panel will provide a framing of the issue, including what makes the she-cession so different from previous recessions. The second will explore ideas on how to rebuild a more inclusive economy for working women.  

This seminar is part of a Federal Reserve Community Development Research Seminar Series focused on supporting an inclusive recovery. Get to know the speakers.


11:00-11:05 am ET

Welcome and Panel 1 opening remarks

Matuschka Lindo Briggs, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Alfreda Norman, Senior Vice President, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas

11:05-11:55 am ET

Panel 1: How the “she-cession” came to be

Matthias Doepke, Northwestern University 

Michelle Holder, Washington Center for Equitable Growth; John Jay College 

Betsey Stevenson, University of Michigan 

Moderator: C. Nicole Mason, Institute for Women’s Policy Research 

11:55 am-12:05 pm ET


12:05-1:00 pm ET

Panel 2: How to create an inclusive recovery for mothers

Opening remarks: Tammy Edwards, Senior Vice President, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City

Elizabeth Cascio, Dartmouth College 

Patricia Cortés, Boston University 

Kathryn Edwards, RAND Corporation 

Moderator: Lauren Bauer, Brookings Institution

1:00-1:10 pm ET

Closing remarks

Esther George, President and CEO, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City

1:10-1:15 pm ET

Send off

Matuschka Lindo Briggs, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Presented by

Toward an Inclusive Recovery

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