Community Conversations: How women are persevering through the pandemic

Women have been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic — female-dominated industries have taken heavy job losses, and many mothers have juggled work from home during school and child care center closures.

One year ago, women filed 65% of the new unemployment claims in Ohio as the effect of the business closures and stay-at-home orders spread through the economy. Many other women have served on the front lines of the pandemic, including in health care.

All of that has led to economic pressure, and mental and physical stress. Nearly 4.1 million women 20 and older dropped out of the U.S. labor force in September, 23% more than the 3.3 million men who left, according to federal data.

The Dayton Daily News Community Conversation: Women Persevering Through the Pandemic dug into the effects of COVID-19 on women in our region. The live, virtual panel discussion was streamed on the Dayton Daily News Facebook page.

The conversation included six local leaders examining solutions to these issues as we begin to emerge from the pandemic. The panel included:

  • Samantha Elder, Director of Strategic Initiatives and Communication at Montgomery County Alcohol Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services.
  • Shannon Isom, President & CEO of the YWCA Dayton.
  • Barbara Johnson, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for Premier Health.
  • Shannon Jones, Warren County Commissioner and former state lawmaker.
  • Dr. Hind Moussa, Physician in obstetrics and gynecology with Kettering Health Network and associate professor at University of Cincinnati.
  • Erin Rhinehart, Co-Managing Partner at Faruki PLL.

Rhinehart and Elder also are members of the Dayton Daily News Community Advisory Board.

The panel discussion was hosted by Dayton Daily News Editor Jim Bebbington, Investigative Editor Sam Sommer, and reporter Lynn Hulsey.

“During Women’s History Month, we’ve told many stories of women’s experience in our region; this community conversation is important as we begin to come out of COVID to surface ideas about what women need to succeed going forward,” Bebbington said.