Women in the workforce: some who left during the pandemic are back … like their own boss

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PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) – The pandemic has had an almost immediate effect on women’s employment, but there may be a silver lining: As more women than men leave the workforce, a growing number people start their own businesses.

And they have new resources to help them do that.

“Before I became a full-time entrepreneur, I was general manager in retail,” said Lori Robinson of the Mount Airy branch of Philadelphia.

Robinson said when the world stopped, a light bulb went out in his head. And with the help of Robinson’s teenage son, his business, Ga Lor boards, was born.

“He is restoration, cold meats, cheeses, fruits, dessert tables, ”she explained.

“In the greater Philadelphia area, 9.1 million entrepreneurs and businesses and businesses were created by women in general. I mean, that’s a huge number, contributing to 1.4 trillion dollars in sales, ”said Carol Lee Mitchell, senior vice president of small businesses at Bank of America. .

In addition, 50% of new businesses created in 2020 were led by women entrepreneurs. And the way they work is different. For example, during the pandemic, a higher percentage of women than men have suffered a cut in their own pay, and women are turning out to be masters of innovation.

“They respond to the needs, they identify the needs, and the local community says, you know, this is something I can fix, and then take that idea and move on,” Mitchell said.

And thanks to a new initiative by Bank of America, women have a new way of finding funding.

“We just launched our Access to Capital Directory, which effectively connects women entrepreneurs with businesses that offer various forms of access to capital,” said Mitchell.

Meanwhile, Robinson said nine months in his business were booming.

“I am able to support my family because she is a full time entrepreneur,” she said.

She applies what she has learned in the job market to her own business to retain talent.

“I make sure I pay a fair wage, I start at $ 20 an hour,” she said.

And Robinson said showing gratitude to his staff is a priority.

“And tell them, ‘Hey, I’m human too. I am a person too. I have family. I have a life outside of work, ”and people appreciate that,” she said.

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