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Women in Work Index 2022

Higher female unemployment and a greater proportion of women leaving the labour market due to the COVID-19 pandemic has set back progress towards gender equality in work by at least two years, according to PwC's latest analysis.

PwC's Women in Work Index, now in its tenth edition, assesses women's employment outcomes across 33 OECD countries. After a decade of slow but consistent gains from women in work across the OECD, the Index has fallen for the first time in its history. The two main contributing factors to the Index decline were higher female unemployment and lower female participation rates during the worst of the pandemic.

The Index estimates a "COVID-19 gap", which compares job losses to the employment growth projected prior to the pandemic, finding there were 5.1 million more women unemployed and 5.2 million fewer women participating in the labour market than would be the case had the pandemic not occurred. The OECD has found that childcare and domestic work responsibilities played a significant role in causing women to leave the workforce.

A photo of two professional women working together in a warehouse while using a tablet.

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