The pandemic especially hurt the work/life balance of women. The stressors haven’t gone away.

It’s having a deep impact on the labor force. According to a 2023 report from High Roads Strategy Center, part of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Wisconsin’s women labor force participation dropped below 60% for the first time since the late 1980s.

“Our relative (workforce) advantage shrank quite substantially over the last two years,” said Laura Dresser, associate director of High Roads Strategy Center. “We know that child care has been in crisis, even before the pandemic. Our structures for taking care of kids tend to weigh heavily on women and on women’s work.”

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