The City Council Wednesday ordered a report on how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected Los Angeles’ working women, particularly mothers and women of color.
The motion, which was introduced by Council President Nury Martinez and unanimously approved, instructs the Commission on the Status of Woman and the Chief Legislative Analyst, along with any other relevant departments, to create the report, which will cover:
— childcare issues;
— paid leave policies;
— possible long-term consequences of women leaving the workplace during the pandemic; and
— recommendations for how companies, organizations and policymakers can support women in the workplace through policies and programs.
“While women were making strides in reaching gender equity in the workplace and breaking the glass ceiling in industries dominated by men prior to COVID, this global pandemic threatens to wipe out decades of progress for women,” the motion reads. “There is plenty of pre-pandemic evidence showing that workplace policies weren’t accommodating to working mothers and that women were being punished for their child-bearing responsibilities.”
The vote also directed the Commission on the Status of Women, the Chief Legislative Analyst and the Personnel Department to evaluate the city’s workforce and how mothers and women of color employed by the city have been impacted by the pandemic. That report will also include recommendations to strengthen the city’s policies to support women in the workplace.
“The city needs to offer long-term support and programs that will help women, particularly women of color, recover from the COVID pandemic,” the motion says. “The longer is takes to address this issue, the tougher it will be to repair the damage caused to women by the pandemic.”
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