DEI in the face of inflation

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Taylor Bowley

March 2023

Key takeaways

  • Progress on closing the gender gap has stagnated in the wake of inflationary pressures. Why? One reason appears to be that women are less likely to receive pay raises that keep up with inflation. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), in 2022 the Healthcare & Education sector, where 75% of workers are women, saw the second-lowest nominal wage increase across sectors.
  • Women are also disproportionately impacted by mounting childcare and healthcare costs. The Consumer Price Index shows that daycare and preschool costs have risen by more than 10% since the pandemic started. Many families are torn between spending a large portion of their paycheck on these costs, using lower-quality care options, reducing work hours, or giving up work to become full-time caregivers.
  • Companies that offer benefits such as paid parental leave, childcare, and flexible work options can help "inflation-proof" employees' earnings, meet costs and attract and retain employees. And since women are more likely to benefit from these programs, such measures should also facilitate advancing gender parity.

Read our full analysis for a more in-depth look at these trends.