Women-owned businesses in Canada are taking nearly twice the amount of time to recover financially from the impacts of COVID-19 than those owned by men, a new study revealed.
The Business Resiliency During COVID-19 study, published by FreshBooks, a small business accounting software company, showed this to be the case across all industries in Canada.
The study used business data from more than 10,000 small businesses in the US and Canada, with survey responses collected between July and September 2020.
It showed that it took Canadian women-owned businesses 10 weeks to start to recover, but only five weeks for men-owned businesses. What’s more is that even when the women-owned businesses started to recover, they were still finding success below their historical average‚ but the male businesses exceeded theirs soon after rebounding.
“Ultimately, once recovery started, it took businesses owned by men three weeks to get back to their historical average, while it took businesses owned by women 13 weeks,” according to FreshBooks.
To top it off, many studies surfaced throughout 2020 that showed that women were bearing the brunt of the impacts of the pandemic.
Women are more likely to take on unpaid work like child care, teaching, cooking, and cleaning, they tend to earn less, have fewer savings, and more often work in informal roles, according to UN Women.
“There’s no question my business is suffering,” Amanda Munday, CEO of the Workaround, told Canadian Press. “I am torn between caring for my children and running a business, and there is no world in which I’m giving my business my full attention. My focus is always split between children and work.”
A single mom, Munday has had to juggle life at home — teaching, parenting, cleaning — while also trying to run her business.
“I actually apply for the wage subsidy for my staff at 6 a.m. on Saturday mornings,” Munday said. “And I try to catch up on everything else in the evenings when the kids are asleep.”
A study by the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) in July 2020 showed that the pandemic had had a disproportionate impact on women in the workforce. In just three months, female participation in the workforce had dropped by 55% across Canada.
This is likely due to the fact that women are more likely to hold part-time jobs or work in sectors that have been hit particularly hard by the pandemic, like in health care and social assistance. These industries are female-dominated — with 8 out of 10 employees being women — making women more vulnerable to job loss and COVID-19 itself, according to RBC.