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Unlocking Opportunities

Michigan women face several barriers that often prevent full and continuous participation in the workforce. Most of these barriers come from the costs – in time, dollars and energy – of caregiving for others.

For example, the availability and affordability of high-quality child care limits women’s choices in job types, work hours and even whether to work outside the home, especially for women of color and women in low-income brackets (Michigan League for Public Policy). Without guaranteed paid parental leave across all sectors and jobs, many Michigan women must make tough decisions about whether and when to start or expand their families (WZZM13Lansing State Journal). Women also take on a disproportionate amount of overall family caregiving – and that caregiving is growing more complex, including taking time off work to accompany aging parents and grandparents to medical appointments (National Partnership for Women & Families).

The Unlocking Opportunities Committee will pursue initiatives to eliminate these barriers to work choice.



The Michigan Women’s Commission conducted a “Survey of Child Care Use During the Pandemic” from September through October 2020. We wanted to know how Michigan parents were handling child care during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, who they prefer to provide child care during and after the pandemic, and what would make them feel comfortable sending their kids to child care outside the home.

Download our survey results