The latest numbers from Statistics Canada show women throughout the country have been hit harder than men when it comes to job losses.
There’s been a 17 per cent drop in female employment, compared to a 14.5 per cent drop with men.
Additionally, women 15 to 24 are suffering the most, with a 38 per cent fall in employment.
Phoebe Galvan, 21, was laid off from her family’s business called the Fart Cafe in downtown Whitby. However, she continues to help out without being compensated in order to support her family.
“It’s scary,” said Galvan.
“When we did get the news that we had to shut our doors, I took that moment and I just cried because it’s my family, it’s my life.”
The family moved from B.C. to pursue their dreams of opening the food and art café.
Although the business proved to be successful, COVID-19 forced Phoebe’s parents to make a decision they say was extremely difficult: letting go of their daughter and 10 other young female employees working for them.
“They’ve gone out, they’ve got a job, they’re working hard, they’re doing all the right things,” Phoebe’s mother Alison said.
“And then to have the rug pulled out from under them, through no fault of their own…it literally was just a knife in the soul.”
The 21-year-old says losing her job has forced her to re-consider future plans including travelling and other personal investments.
Financial experts are calling the pandemic’s impact on female unemployment the ‘she-cession.’
Robyn Thompson, a certified financial planner and president of Castlemark Wealth Management, says recessions have typically impacted men the most.
However, “this time around, in 2020 with COVID, we’ve seen the service sector fall.”
“Places like restaurants, retail, childcare, education and those are predominantly sectors that are held by females.”
When it comes to what women can do to help get their finances back on track, Thompson says people can look at additional work opportunities in addition to collecting money from the Canada Emergency Response Benefit.
“As long as you’re not collecting more than $1,000, you can make up to $1,000 dollars from an employer and make up to $2,000 from the CERB.”
The certified financial planner also says Canadians can work on negotiating with companies to defer payments during the pandemic.