USU project details the impact this last year has had on working women in the state


LOGAN — The Utah Women in Leadership Project recently released a report entitled ‘The Impact of COVID-19 on Utah Women and Work – Changes, Burn-out and Hope.’

On KVNU’s For the People program on Wednesday, our guest was Dr. Susan Madsen, the project director who is also a professor at the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business at Utah State University. She said this is the first of many reports.

“We actually have so much data that we’ll do many reports that are coming out and this is just the first one, and really looked at employment changes specifically and burn-out and hope and some other changes in perspective.

“We’re really excited to get this one out the door. I really appreciate my colleagues Chris Hartwell and Jared Hansen who are also professors in the Huntsman school and their work on this report as well,” she explained.

Dr. Madsen said the report lines up with some of the national research that has been released for a number of months. She said there are many single parents trying to raise families – being employed full-time in the workforce then facing more work at home.

“Families are impacted, but women typically take even more of the negative impact, because we’re just so used to doing…it’s called second shift. You work full-time and then you get back and you’ve got many hours left in terms of the household duties…in terms of just things like calling the doctor.”

She said women bear more of the psychological burden when it comes to families because they worry more and worry that their kids are going to be okay.

Some of the research findings include:

  • 15.9% of Utah women who responded had withdrawn from the workplace since March 2020 in some form. Two of the top reasons Utah women left the workplace included caring for children (15.4%) and an employers’ reduction in business (16.2%).
  • Women who now work from home because of the pandemic or work both from home and their place of work (a mix) more strongly agreed that their mental health had declined versus women who continued to work at an on-site location.
  • Women of color reported more financial worries than white women; and unsurprisingly financial worries were strongly tied to household income. More than half of women making less than $25K were worried about housing, and 38% of women making between $25-50K worried about housing.

You can read more about the report and the Utah in Leadership Project at

AUDIO: Dr Susan Madsen talks to Jason Williams on KVNU’s For the People on 4-7-2021

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