International Women’s Day is a fitting time to acknowledge that the pandemic has been a very difficult time for women as workers, wage-earners, and caregivers. 

Women’s labor force participation has fallen to a more-than 30-year low as millions of women have been laid off, or quit to care for family members. Women’s child care and home-schooling duties have risen more than men, up more than six hours a day.

new Indeed survey conducted in December finds that during the pandemic, women are less likely than men to ask for higher pay or promotions. The Indeed Hiring Lab surveyed women and men about how willing they are to approach their boss for a raise or promotion. (Full disclosure: Indeed is a “Marketplace Morning Report” underwriter.)

“Women, now during the pandemic, were less likely than men to feel comfortable asking for those types of benefits,” said Indeed economist AnnElizabeth Konkel, author of the report.

In particular, Konkel said, mid-career women in their 30s, 40s, and 50s reported feeling especially overwhelmed with family responsibilities.

“Women may be feeling that they aren’t able to put in 100% at work right now,” she said. “And given that women often feel they have to over-perform so that they can ask for that pay raise or promotion, they’re just not comfortable having that conversation with their boss.”

And while working from home is better than being out of work, all that isolation makes things more difficult, said Leigh Thompson, a professor of management and organizations at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University who specializes in negotiation.

“We don’t have a lot of those impromptu meetings for not only building cohesion but acting as sounding boards and mentors for one another,” Thompson said.

She said that is the type of personal support women typically rely on to help them advocate for the advance Americans are especially eager to receive their tax refunds this year.

new survey from finds that 73% of U.S. adults who are expecting a tax refund say it is important to their overall financial well-being this year.

That’s as there’s about a month to go before people need to submit their returns in time for the April 15 Tax Day deadline. (The deadline has been extended to June 15 for Texas residents due to recent winter storms.)

Last year, the average refund was $2,707. This year, it could be more than that, said Ted Rossman, an industry analyst at

That’s due to the fact that those refunds could make up for unpaid stimulus payments or higher withholding rates after lost work.

Three ways the stimulus money may change your 2020 tax return

“I really think this is going to be viewed as another stimulus check,” Rossman said.

The survey found 53% of people impacted by Covid-19 said their refund is very important to them, compared to 30% of those whose income did not change who said the same.

Women were also more likely to say they are counting on the money, with 51% indicating it is very important to their financial well-being versus 35% of men.

Respondents had an increased need for the refund money, regardless of income.

This year, 61% of those earning under $40,000 said their tax refund is very important, compared to 42% who said the same last year.

Meanwhile, 31% of those with incomes of $80,000 per year and up said the money is very important to them, versus 24% who said the same last year.

Most Americans said they plan to use the money for savings, at 28%, or to pay off debt, at 25%.

Other uses cited for the money include day-to-day expenses, at 17%; home improvements, 8%; investing, 7%; retail purchases, 3%; or a vacation, 2%.

The online survey was conducted in mid-February and included 2,494 adults. ent of their careers.