The pandemic may be having a particularly hard effect on women working in science, technology, engineering, and medicine, the New York Times reports.
Even before COVID-19, it notes that women in STEM grappled with sexism and discrimination, particularly if they had small children, and now with the pandemic, many women in STEM have had to juggle the demands of remote work for themselves and school for their children. New studies have indicated that women have written fewer papers and led fewer studies during this time, which could have later career ramifications, it notes.
"The confluence of all of these factors creates this perfect storm. People are at their breaking point," the University of Florida's Michelle Cardel tells the Times. "My big fear is that we are going to have a secondary epidemic of loss, particularly of early career women in STEM."
The Times notes that the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic may especially be felt by scientists of color as they shoulder additional biases in the workplace and as the pandemic has hit Black and Latino communities harder.