Dr. Jing Shen

“Gender inequality in childcare and mental well-being during the COVID-19 pandemic: Empirical evidence from the UK”

My presentation will focus on how time spent on childcare has increased for working men and women with children at pre-school and school age (under age 16) and the subsequent consequences on their subjective well-being (SWB), during the COVID-19 pandemic. I will first share my personal experience as an introduction. I will then show preliminary results based on the UK COVID-19 survey, which is a longitudinal countrywide survey conducted monthly starting in April, 2020. My own experience and empirical evidence based on the survey data show that following the closure of childcare and educational facilities in the majority of countries and regions as one of the responses to the pandemic, time spent on childcare has increased disproportionally between working women and men, with working women doing a significantly larger share. As a result, the gender gap in terms of work performance has also widened during this period. Unequally increased time spent on children and pressure from work have both contributed to the gender gap of SWB, which working women’s SWB falling far behind that of working men.

Jing Shen obtained a PhD from the University of Toronto in 2013. She is currently employed as a postdoctoral researcher at Mannheim Centre for European Social Research (MZES) affiliated to the University of Mannheim. Her research interests include integration of immigrants in both socioeconomic and subjective dimensions, labour market inequality, and social capital.