Prominent working women call for federal economic aid for mothers who left jobs during pandemic

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ByDavid Louie KGO logo
Saturday, January 30, 2021
Supporters call for aid to mothers who left jobs amid pandemic
Prominent working women and economic leaders are calling on the Biden administration to provide direct federal economic aid for mothers who left their jobs during the pandemic to care for their families.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- A late-January New York Times advertisement, funded by 50 prominent women and business leaders, is calling on the Biden administration to deliver financial aid to moms who left their jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic to care for their families.

But the proposition could be a hard sell to Washington politicians.

RELATED: Local futurists say COVID-19 pandemic will continue to shape work practices, priorities into 2021

The changing workplace is part of Building A Better Bay Area.

By some estimates, 2,000,000 women have left their jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In many cases, these workforce exiters have put their children first, or they are part of the so-called sandwich generation that takes care of aging parents as well.

RELATED: Some working parents consider leaving workforce amid pandemic

50 women took out a full-page ad in the New York Times on Tuesday calling on President Biden to provide economic relief in the form of a $2,400 monthly payment alongside other assistance.

"It includes paid leave, affordable daycare and includes a plan to have school open five days a week as well as a retraining program with the private sector because many of the jobs that COVID has affected aren't coming back," said Reshma Saujani, founder and CEO of Girls who Code.

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Saujani is also a leader of this unemployed mother financial aid movement, calling the idea a Marshall Plan for Moms.

That inspiration behind the plan, of course, is the U.S. economic recovery plan that sent $12 billion to rebuild Western European nations after World War II.

Supporters of this movement include activists, business leaders, and celebrities who think support for moms must be part of the first 100 days of the Biden administration.

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"There's long-term positive consequences for these types of big thinking investment and spending bills, and now's a moment to take care of those who are most vulnerable," said Dr. Leah Ruppanner, a sociologist on the faculty at the University of Melbourne in Australia.

A big concern is how recent gains in gender and pay parity by women in the workforce could be lost.

The impact could put a dent in progress made in Silicon Valley to hire more women in tech and in executive roles.