How women and ethnic minorities have been disproportionately affected

The pandemic has exposed the most vulnerable among us. Americans who were on the edge financially pre-pandemic, are the ones most impacted and disproportionately affected by the events of 2020.

Who are they?

Women and ethnic minorities.

Why?

Economic fallout continues to affect lower income Americans the most and women and ethnic minorities make up a good portion of the working poor. Although the pandemic accelerated the impact to all of us, those who were already marginalized have been hit the hardest. Systemic racism, increasing numbers of single mothers, lack of education and cyclical poverty has tipped the scales backwards for many.¹, ³

Women

Women have often been primary caretakers for children and other family members. With the collapse of the child care sector and school closings during Covid-19, many women had to leave the workforce to tend to family, undermining the economic security for their families – while slowing progression of gender equality. ¹

Women who are also an ethnic minority

For single ‘un-partnered’ women at the time of the pandemic, they were impacted most. These women/women of color had no safety net to fall back on, further illuminating the pay and wealth gap. Black and Hispanic women with less education were twice as likely to have lost their job during this recession. ² African-American women have been putting their lives on the line for less pay and are unduly laid off during the pandemic. Of those with job loss, fewer still receive unemployment benefits – not surprising as in most economic recessions this is often the case.³

Minorities in general

This pandemic has caused the steepest job losses in low wage occupations and the gaps are most noticeable by education, age and women of color.₄ African-Americans and Hispanic-Americans have also been at a disadvantage health wise as a disproportionate number of people have died from the virus due to underlying health conditions, poverty and front line work.6 Those without health insurance or jobs, the financial impact has been overwhelming. This could likely lead to higher numbers of people experiencing food and housing insecurity in higher proportion to the rest of the population as well.

There is a wealth gap in America5

Wealth accumulation generally follows a predictable life cycle arc, wherein families generally accumulate wealth during their working years, in preparation for retirement. White families often have more access than Black or Latino families to workplace retirement plans, which also plays a role in the following disproportionate mean family wealth. 5

Figure 1.

  • African-American        $142,5005

  • Caucasian                    $983,4005

  • Hispanic                     $165,5005

Wealth is defined as the difference between families’ gross assets and their liabilities. Figure 1.

There is some good news…

Although the pandemic has revealed the cracks in an inequitable system it has also opened up more resources and possibility. More women and people of color are becoming entrepreneurs, more wealthy people are giving back and corporations such as AMEX and Voya Financial each have programs to lift people up and support businesses. Even the U.S. Government is extending some benefits and protections. Here are a few resources for anyone wanting to change their circumstance:

Good News Network

Inspiring stories of amazing generosity and giving during this pandemic  

  • 60 Years Ago He Couldn’t Afford College–Now He’s Donating $20M to Fulfill the Dreams of Students Today “Calvin Tyler established the Calvin and Tina Tyler Endowed Scholarship Fund at the historically Black university he once attended”. Read about his generosity here: https://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/calvin-tyler-20-million-morgan-state-university/ 13
  • Mackenzie Scott, ex-wife of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos to date has given away almost $6B this year alone and here is what she said: “This pandemic has been a wrecking ball in the lives of Americans already struggling. Economic losses and health outcomes alike have been worse for women, for people of color, and for people living in poverty. Meanwhile, it has substantially increased the wealth of billionaires.” Read more about her selfless giving here: https://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/mackenzie-scott-gives-4-billion-to-charity/ 14

Come as you are, leave feeling better

#everyday wellness

Read more posts from our Everyday Wellness series, a blog series created for your whole health and well being.

This information is provided by Voya for your education only. Neither Voya nor its representatives offer tax or legal advice. Please consult your tax or legal advisor before making a tax-related investment/ insurance decision.

Products and services offered through the Voya ® family of companies.

1Center for American Progress, americanprogress.org, How COVID-19 Sent Women’s Workforce Progress Backward, Julie Kashen, Sarah Jane Glynn and Amanda Novello, October 30, 2020, https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/women/reports/2020/10/30/492582/covid-19-sent-womens-workforce-progress-backward/ last accessed March 5, 2021

2Pew Research, pewresearch.org, In the pandemic, the share of un-partnered moms at work fell more sharply than among other parents, Amanda Barroso and Rakesh Kochhar, November 24, 2020, https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2020/11/24/in-the-pandemic-the-share-of-unpartnered-moms-at-work-fell-more-sharply-than-among-other-parents/ last accessed March 5, 2021

3Kantar Download on African-Americans report February 2021, Slide 29 Source:

Workforce participation: https://www.bls.gov/charts/employment-situation/civilian-labor-force-par...

Brookings: https://www.brookings.edu/research/black-essential-workers-lives-matter-...

13% of Black people out of work are getting unemployment benefits

https://www.cnbc.com/2020/09/01/just-13percent-of-black-people-out-of-wo...

https://www.rand.org/blog/2020/09/laid-off-more-hired-less-black-workers...

https://www.bls.gov/charts/usual-weekly-earnings/usual-weekly-earnings-c...

4Pew Research, pewreseach.org, Unemployed Americans are feeling the emotional strain of job loss; most have considered changing occupations, Kim Parker, Ruth Igielnik and Rakesh Kochhar, February 10, 2021,  https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2021/02/10/unemployed-americans-are-feeling-the-emotional-strain-of-job-loss-most-have-considered-changing-occupations/ ,last accessed March 5, 2021

5Voya.com/Black History Month Page:  2019 median income and mean family wealth by race/ethnicity in America:   https://www.federalreserve.gov/econres/notes/feds-notes/disparities-in-wealth-by-race-and-ethnicity-in-the-2019-survey-of-consumer-finances-20200928.htm last accessed March 12, 2021;Wealth is defined as the difference between families’ gross assets and their liabilities. Figure 1. White families have more wealth than Black, Hispanic, and other or multiple race families in the 2019 SCF.

6Pew Research, pewresearch.org, Financial and health impacts of Covid-19 vary widely by race and ethnicity, Mark Lopez, Lee Rainie and Abby Budiman, May 5, 2020, https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2020/05/05/financial-and-health-impacts-of-covid-19-vary-widely-by-race-and-ethnicity/2 , last accessed March 5, 2021

7Voya.com Voya’s Just Right Advantage™ program

8American Express, Coalition to Black Businesses, September 15, 2020 press release, https://about.americanexpress.com/all-news/news-details/2020/American-Express-Launches-the-Coalition-to-Back-Black-Businesses-Grant-Program-with-a-10-Million-Commitment/default.aspx, last accessed March 5, 2021

9CNBC.com, A $15 minimum wage would give 19 million women a raise – but it might not happen too soon, Carmine Reineke, March 2, 2021,  https://www.cnbc.com/2021/03/02/a-15-minimum-wage-would-give-19-million-women-a-raise-but-not-soon.html , last accessed March 5, 2021

10NAV, Small business grants COVID-19 relief; Where to find free money, Susan Guillory, February 10, 2021 https://www.nav.com/resource/small-business-grants/  last accessed March 5, 2021

11USAToday.com, live updates on stimulus package for Covid, Live stimulus updates: Senate Democrats reach deal to keep unemployment benefits @ 300 a week, Ledyard King, Nicholas Wu and Savannah Behrmann, March 5, 2021, https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2021/03/05/covid-stimulus-updates-senate-republicans-try-delay-bidens-bill/6921453002/ ,last accessed updated 3:35 PM on March 5, 2021

12Voya blog: everyday wellness new year, new extended relief for Americans, https://blog.voya.com/voya-insights/everyday-wellness-new-year-new-extended-relief-americans, last access March 5, 2021

13Goodnewnetwork.com, 60 years ago he couldn’t afford college – now he’s donating $20M to fulfill the dreams of students today, Judy Cole, March 2, 2021, “Calvin Tyler established the Calvin and Tina Tyler Endowed Scholarship Fund at the historically Black university he once attended”, https://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/calvin-tyler-20-million-morgan-state-university/e,last accessed March 5, 2021

14 goodnewsnetwork.com, Ex-wife of Amazon CEO has Given away $4 Billion in Last 4 Months to Help Those Affected by the Pandemic, December 23, 2020, “This pandemic has been a wrecking ball in the lives of Americans already struggling. Economic losses and health outcomes alike have been worse for women, for people of color, and for people living in poverty. Meanwhile, it has substantially increased the wealth of billionaires.” https://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/mackenzie-scott-gives-4-billion-to-charity/, last accessed March 5, 2021


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