Women’s Setbacks in a Covid Economy Extend to the Wealthy

The pandemic has been tough on working women — even those with high incomes.

AUBS Group AG survey found that 61% of affluent U.S. women believe the Covid-19 outbreak is hurting their career, while about 40% said the pandemic has put pay raises and promotions on hold as they worked less to help their kids with school. And one in four respondents said they’ve delayed retirement plans or considered leaving the workforce completely.

“Covid definitely set women back,” Paula Polito, divisional vice chairman at UBS Global Wealth Management, said in an interview. “Whether it’s their earnings capabilities, raises and promotions, money burned during that period, delay in their retirement plans,” womens’ careers are being hurt as they shoulder a bigger domestic workload, she said.

The UBS survey echoes a broader economic trend: Women, especially those in the age group most likely to have young children, are dropping out of the job market at the fastest pace since the height of the pandemic as many schools and childcare centers remain closed.

“No matter if you’re a high-powered woman in finance or you’re a woman that’s working as a server in a restaurant, you won’t give up your kids for your job,” Polito said.

The pandemic has also prompted 68% of women to discuss money more frequently with their partners, and 49% to talk about inheritance with their kids, according to the UBS poll. The firm surveyed 1,507 U.S. investors — 991 women, and 516 men — with at least $250,000 in investable assets from Dec. 21 to Jan. 4.

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