By Ovunc Kutlu
ANKARA (AA) - Almost two in three women, or 63%, in the US who left the workforce during the coronavirus pandemic are now ready to return work, according to a study Tuesday.
Nearly half, or 48%, said the pandemic negatively impacted their careers, US-based global insurance provider Metlife said in Women And Stem: Harnessing The Great Reevaluation.
Among women who are ready to go back to work, eight in 10 said they are considering careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), according to the study conducted in September based on 2,000 interviews with people in the US workforce between the ages of 18 and 65.
The survey found that women interested in STEM identified several factors that would encourage them to pursue a career in those fields.
While 38% said STEM offers more diversity and inclusion in leadership, 33% said it has benefits that better fit their individual needs, and 31% noted it has more flexibility in work arrangements.
"We’ve reached a critical inflection point in the workplace where women are evaluating their careers in a new light," Bill Pappas, executive vice president and head of Global Technology and Operations at MetLife, said in a statement.
"It’s more important than ever that organizations – particularly those in STEM – offer the solutions that help women succeed," he added.
More than 22 million workers in the US lost jobs in March and April of 2020 due to the pandemic. There are still 7.7 million unemployed people as of September in the world's largest economy, according to the latest figures by the Labor Department.
"With so many women considering a STEM career and one in three saying they don’t know where to start, employers have both a tremendous opportunity and responsibility to help them forge a path forward," said Susan Podlogar, executive vice president and chief human resources officer at MetLife.
"We need to ensure that women are inspired and empowered to grow their career by addressing what companies can do to support women at this pivotal moment," she added.