Worn out: COVID-19, Women and the Great Exhaustion

It’s been a tough two years for women. Early in the COVID-19 pandemic, women were hit harder by job losses, leading many to call it a “she-cession”. But as the pandemic worse on we started to see wider impacts too. We saw women on the front line of the crisis response, making up 75% of the workforce in health and social care. Women were taking on more work at home due to school and childcare closures. We saw women feeling more isolated from social networks.

We also saw a shadow pandemic – the rise in domestic violence as lockdowns trapped women with abusive partners. These took their toll. After two years, more than 40% of women in Europe were reporting that the pandemic had a major negative impact on their mental health. These cumulative effects are what we call the Great Exhaustion. What about women entrepreneurs and how should local governments deal with the great exhaustion and support women with care responsibilities?
To learn more about the OECD’s work on women entrepreneurs, go here.

Host: Andrew Paterson, OECD
Guest: Rae Cooper, Professor of Gender, Work and Employment Relations at the University of Sydney, Australia

Professor of Gender, Work and Employment Relations at University of Sydney | + posts

Professor, Gender, Work and Employment Relations
Australian Research Council - Future Fellow
Director Gender Equality in Working Life (GEWL) research initiative

Appointments and Directorships:
Director, Family Planning NSW (2013-2016)
Chair, Board of Directors, Australian Hearing (2011-2014)
Deputy Chair Premier's, Expert Advisory Council on Women (NSW) (2010-12)
Director, NSW TAFE Commission (2010-2013)
Director, NSW Rural Assistance Authority (2005-2012)

Leadership in universities and to scholarly associations:
Member, Executive, International Labor and Employment Relations Association, 2018-
Editor - Journal of Industrial Relations
Previously, President, Association of Industrial Relations Academics of Australia and New Zealand (AIRAANZ).
Previously, Chair, NSW Working Women's Centre
Previously, Chair NSW Premier's Expert Advisory Council on Women

Research specialisation:
Employment Relations
Gender and work
Flexible work and careers
Women and leadership
Bargaining and negotiation

PhD - Usyd - 2003
BA (Hons) First Class and University Medal - 1993 - (Industrial Relations and History) - UNSW

Senior Counsellor at | Website | + posts

Andrew Paterson is Senior Counsellor at the OECD Centre for Entrepreneurship, SMEs, Regions and Cities and editor-in-chief of the COGITO blog site. Prior to joining the OECD, he was a senior civil servant in the UK Government where he led the UK Business Productivity Review, identified new emerging technological strengths as a focus for the Government’s Industrial Strategy, and developed the UK’s approach to “levelling up” through local growth. In previous roles he led the UK Government’s Housing, Planning and Local Growth analysis, economic and financial reforms in Britain’s Overseas Territories from the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office, and neighbourhood renewal and regeneration policy from the UK Treasury. Andrew holds a Masters in Politics, Philosophy and Economics from the University of Oxford.