Women have been among the hardest hit during the pandemic with the female labor force participation rate remaining near 33-year lows.
Within the past year, 2.5 million women have dropped out of the workforce compared to only 1.5 million men. Although women are slowly getting back to work, the numbers still indicate a struggle.
Even in the face of hardships, several women-run businesses have found opportunities to overcome workforce woes, including a bridal store in Brooklyn run by female entrepreneur, Andrea Pitter.
The female-owned shop is thriving after it pivoted to meet new needs in the pandemic as large wedding ceremonies dwindled, severing the demand for big gowns. Pantora Bridal’s new, ready-to-wear collection reflects the recent trend of brides getting married in their backyards, at home, small intimate ceremonies with just close family, according to FOX Business’ Lydia Hu.
“It’s one-word: innovation,” FOX Business’ Hu told Varney & Co. “The pandemic has really hit all business sectors hard, but particularly the bridal industry, especially here in New York because they had to shut down so many big ceremonies and weddings over the past year. So they innovated. They pivoted.”
The new line has kept Pitter’s business busy over the past year and maintained a steady stream of customers coming to them for their bridal needs.
However, not all women and businesses have been able to innovate like Pantora Bridal. In fact, the workforce is seeing the lowest female participation rate since 1987. Women-owned businesses are also reporting a worse financial state than men-owned businesses.
Some reports point to working women spending more time than men managing and caring for their children who are being homeschooled. Pay-equity software company, Syndio, found that the increased demand for childcare and household duties has taken a toll on work productivity. In addition, many women have been forced to quit their jobs to spend more time managing family responsibilities.
In honor of International Women’s Day, Pantora Bridal owner Andrew Pitter tells FOX Business that she hopes to see more women prosper in the business community.
“I think that what happened during the pandemic is when it was who’s going to not work or whose work is more important, women took the backseat like we always had,” Pitter told FOX Business. “I think that that’s really important for us to understand is that we can definitely be the drivers, and we should be.”