The Ubeya Blog

The Employee Gender Bias During COVID-19

Jul 6, 2020 2:40:42 PM / by Leor Bareli

woman-in-orange-top-2439563One of the most tremulous effects of the COVID-19 pandemic is the secondary effect that is the unemployment crisis. Employees across all industry sectors experienced the hit to the labor market and its rippling effects.

In order to understand the impact of COVID-19 on employees working in shift-based businesses, our team at Ubeya used the online survey creator Segmanta to gain real insights from employees and employers. From bartenders, brand ambassadors, event staff to owners across different companies, these individuals shared their experiences pre- and post-COVID-19 restrictions.

Along with valuable insights into the job market and labor statistics, Ubeya's team came across something else of interest.

There seemed to be a disparity between the male and female answers. What does this mean? 

When asked about employment, status and position before and during the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, men and women answered these questions very differently from one another.

Is there still a gender bias in the United States within these shift-based business? 


The Gender Gap

According to statistics from Catalyst, men comprise more than 70% of senior management in U.S. companies. This is after the percentage of female CEOs increased drastically worldwide (up to 29%) and is the highest number yet to date. 

Meanwhile, female CEOs are 45% more likely to be fired than males CEOs, according to Forbes. No matter whether the company is performing successfully. 

Here are some of the results from the data collected by Ubeya: 


1. Women are less likely to be found in leadership roles.

Women working in shift-based businesses were less likely to be found in managerial positions. The information collected by Ubeya showed that men were 65% more likely to be managers than women.


The numbers are even more startling in relation to owners, founders and CEOs of shift-based businesses.

The number of female owners of shift-based businesses was half of the amount of male owners operating shift-based businesses. 


While the results showed predominantly male figures in senior and
upper management positions, women were also less likely to be responsible for other employees. Only 20% of the individuals who reported being team captains were female - the remaining 80% were male. 

In what positions were women primarily working? Women were more likely than men to be servers, brand ambassadors, promotional staff, recruiters hosts and bartenders.

2. More female employees than male found themselves unemployed.

According to U.S. government estimations of the labor market crisis, the unemployment rate by May reached as high as round 16%. Without a doubt the situation took a toll on everyone and every industry (with an especially hard hit to event and staffing businesses.)

It is, however, interesting to note that women in shift-based businesses were less likely to report that they were still employed due to the restrictions of COVID-19. Men were more than 20% more likely than women to report that their jobs were unaffected by COVID-19 restrictions.


The data showed that women were less likely to have found another job during COVID-19 than men, who were 7% more likely than women to have found another job. Was it more difficult to find and get accepted to a new position?


Female workers in shift-based businesses reported a higher rate of unemployment than their male counterparts: over 53% of women reported complete unemployment while 46% of men did the same. More women than men also reported working less hours, being furloughed or having contracts cut short. 

Eliminating Bias in the Workplace

Over the past decade we have seen an inspiring rise in female empowerment and acknowledgment of gender bias issues. Women are standing up and demanding equal rights to their male counterparts, and there has been a tremendous growth when it comes to females in management positions.

However, the gender gap as seen as a result of worldwide research still requires active involvement from the public and internally within the businesses responsible for their employees to ensure equal opportunity for everyone. 

Ubeya's research of employment during COVID-19 also showed that certain age groups had a more challenging time returning to the labor market than others. Is there a solution that shift-based businesses and others can actively implement in order to ensure full equality for all employees, no matter gender, race, age and other factors? 

  1. Educate yourself and train your colleagues and staff

  2. Have full transparency in hiring activities and decisions

  3. Review salaries and standardize pay

  4. Support women into more senior and managerial roles

  5. Have a clear policy on discrimination 


Leor Bareli

Written by Leor Bareli

Ubeya is the end-to-end platform for employee management, hiring, scheduling, timesheet, payroll and everything in between.

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