Elise Gould, a senior economist at the Economic Policy Institute, called work-at-home “vastly unequal.” Most workers, she told theGrio, continued going into the workplace during the height of the pandemic.
But two other numbers from the report support Gould’s point. The survey found that 35% of workers could work from home five days a week, which means most workers can’t. Moreover, 41% of workers could not work from home because their jobs aren’t conducive to remote work.
Gould and Asfaw each noted that discrimination, both historical and modern-day, plays a role.
“I often have people say, well, women are choosing to work in certain professions or choosing to be in certain jobs,” said Gould, who also studies the gender wage gap. “You can say the same thing about occupational segregation by race. There’s historical discrimination in access to education, promotions, and access to all those jobs” that directly impact the disparities we see today.
“It’s whether or not you have a computer or a broadband Internet subscription,” Gould said. “And certainly there is a very tangible digital divide between black and white households. So certainly whether you have those resources in your community or if you have your resources at home (are) factors that would lead to occupational segregation.”