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How 4 Women Would Redesign Their Work Weeks

Covid-19 blew up the idea of “work” for tens of millions of Americans, especially white-collar workers whose professional lives shifted to a home office, or bedroom, or dining table.

The impact was fast and sweeping — and, as with many big changes, fell unevenly on men and women. The new work week created sudden new stresses, like juggling kids who were suddenly Zooming into school from the other room, and, later, school and day care schedules that were constantly disrupted by outbreaks and potential outbreaks. As a result, one in three women have said they are considering leaving the workforce this year or downshifting their career, up from one in four a few months into the pandemic.

Is it possible to use new tools, and new norms, to make work more manageable for women, rather than just widening the existing gaps? As part of our project on how to build a better workplace for women after the pandemic, we asked four women how they could redesign their work weeks to better help them juggle everything else in their lives.

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