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The coronavirus is a financial crisis for women

New research by LeanIn.Org & SurveyMonkey reveals that this economic crisis is impacting women most of all.

These findings are part of ongoing LeanIn.Org and SurveyMonkey research on how COVID-19 is affecting women’s finances, job security, home life, and overall well-being. For more information and results, visit this page.

For millions of American households, the COVID-19 pandemic is a financial disaster, with more than 16 million people filing for unemployment in the last three weeks.

And new research by LeanIn.Org & SurveyMonkey reveals that this economic crisis is impacting women most of all.

Black women are more likely to have lost their job or income

Black women are nearly twice as likely as white men to say they’ve been laid off, furloughed, or had their hours or pay cut because of the pandemic. More than half (58%) of Black women report experiencing one of these crises, compared to less than a third (31%) of white men.

Women have less of a financial safety net

Women are much more likely than men to say that they wouldn’t be able to afford basic necessities for more than one month if they lost their income. It’s even worse for women of color—and Black women in particular, who are twice as likely (36%) as white men (16%) to express this concern.

Women are more concerned about future job or income loss

Concerns about job loss, reduced hours and/or pay, or finding a new job were common across all groups, but highest among women of color. In particular, Black women are substantially more likely than white men to be concerned about getting laid off (39% vs. 23%), getting their hours cut back at work (27% vs. 18%), or trying to find a new job (34% vs. 15%).

Women are worried about affording basic necessities

Women are more likely than men to worry that they won’t be able to pay for housing, groceries, or healthcare for themselves or their families in the next few months—and Black women are the most worried. They are more than twice as likely as white men to be concerned about making their rent/mortgage (67% vs. 29%) or affording groceries (49% vs. 24%).

This economic crisis has been years in the making

Women are most affected because they were in a worse financial position than men long before this pandemic occurred. On average, women are paid 18% less than men in the U.S. They have 30% less money in savings. Two-thirds of minimum wage workers are women—and their jobs are at greater risk as service industries shut down to contain the spread of the virus. And for women of color, just about all those numbers are even worse. That financial picture is becoming even more dire because of the economic impact of the pandemic that we’re experiencing right now.

Survey methodology

These findings are from a SurveyMonkey Audience poll conducted online on April 1-3 2020 among a total sample of 2,986 adults ages 18 and over living in the United States. Respondents for these surveys were selected from more than two million people who take surveys on the SurveyMonkey platform each day. The modeled error estimate for the full sample is plus or minus 2 percentage points. Data have been weighted for age, race, sex, education, and geography using the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey to reflect the demographic composition of the United States age 18 and over.

Download a detailed summary of the research findings

May 21, 2020 Update - An earlier version of this article included data that have since been updated due to adjusted weighting from SurveyMonkey. If you have any questions about this, please contact