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The Remote Work-Fertility Connection

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The Remote Work-Fertility Connection

The Atlantic,

5 min read
3 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

Remote work options have demographic consequences.

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The remote-work arrangements many companies adopted during the COVID-19 pandemic benefited one demographic group in particular: highly-educated working women with children, who were able to do their jobs from home. In this article, Stephanie H. Murray sheds light on a new type of “digital divide” researchers are starting to observe in the industrial world, between those with virtual work options and those without. The consequences of this gap, Murray writes, may, ultimately, be more far-reaching than you would expect – directly affecting a woman’s choice to have children.


The COVID-19 pandemic affected working mothers who were able to work remotely differently than moms who couldn’t work from home.

School closings during the COVID-19 crisis affected working mothers differently. Miranda Turner, an attorney, told her boss that she would be working from home a few days a week while the kids were out of school. She was able to hold on to her job throughout the pandemic, and her career prospects remain intact – though remote work likely slowed down her advancement.

Meredith Gade, by contrast, fared much worse. As a nurse, she was unable to work remotely. Since child care ended up costing more than she earned...

About the Author

Stephanie H. Murray is a public policy researcher turned freelance writer.

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