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What do women want? The opportunity to hit the career reset button

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Bead Industries
Jill Mayer, CEO of Bead Industries, holds a baby in her office. Bead now has a policy to allow new mothers (and fathers) to bring their babies to work, to smoothen re-entry

The National Women’s Law Center finds women in the U.S lost more than 5.4 million net jobs in 2020. But women are heading back to work now – there are nearly 600,000 more female workers in trade, transport and utilities; 200,000 more in transportation and warehousing, and 100,000 more in manufacturing. That’s from last March to this March (projected), according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

This hour on Where We Live, we hear from employers on what women want, and learn about workplace changes to get female workers back and to retain them.

We also dive into trends. A new survey by Wakefield Research finds that nationally, women are seeking higher income to make up for lost ground during the 2020-2021 pandemic years — 54% plan on asking for a raise, and 68% plan to leave their company if they don’t get it.

In addition to pay, the Girls With Impact Report – Post-COVID Economic Recovery for Connecticut’s Women, recommends employers to provide re-entry support; strive for policy reform for child care assistance; and offer business training, industry training, experiential training, and one-on-one coaching.

Pay and healthcare are two of the top critical needs of hourly wage earners.

A union representative discusses successful healthcare negotiations with Stop & Shop in Connecticut, while the CEO of a manufacturing company talks about new workplace programs including bringing babies to work.

We also hear from a researcher at the University of Connecticut specializing in the hybrid workplace model. A Gallup poll shows employees prefer hybrid workplaces(at 54%); followed by work from home (37%). Only 9% wanted to return to the office full time.

GUESTS: 

Jill Meyer: CEO, Bead Industries

Jessica Petronella: Representative, United Food and Commercial Workers Union, Local 371

Lucy Gilson: Associate Dean of Faculty and Outreach, University of Connecticut School of Business. Researcher of the hybrid work model

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Sujata Srinivasan is a Senior Producer for 'Where We Live,' the flagship news-based, call-in talk show from Connecticut Public Radio, featuring deep dives at the intersection of data-driven narrative and investigative long-form journalism. She's also an editor for the Connecticut Public newsroom.
Lucy is the Executive Producer and Host of Connecticut Public's morning talk show, 'Where We Live.' She’s a longtime public radio reporter covering several beats including immigration, juvenile justice and child welfare issues, education, veterans affairs and the military.