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Women Furloughed, Fired at Higher Rates During Pandemic: Study

Women have faced higher rates of furloughs and terminations during the coronavirus pandemic than their male colleagues, according to a recent study.

The study conducted by Gusto, a software company specializing in payroll and human resources, found that women nationally were 24% likelier to face a furlough on their job than men and a 22% greater chance of being fired, WJLA-TV (Channel 7) reported Tuesday.

The gaps in the two categories have worsened since last year, when women were 17% likelier to be furloughed and 21% likelier to be terminated.

Sarah Gustafson, a Gusto data scientist, said the gender termination gap is widening slightly faster in the D.C. metropolitan area than the rest of the country, WJLA reported. For example, 21.7% of women in D.C. who were working at small businesses before the pandemic have been terminated by the end of October as opposed to 20.4% of men similarly situated.

By the end of October, women in the D.C. area had been fired at a rate of 33.1% higher than their male counterparts. The 2020 gender termination gap of 33% is wider than the gap of 28.5% in 2019, Gusto reported.

Gustafson said the gender disparity is widest for lower-income workers “and the type of roles women tend to hold.”

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