One year into the pandemic, the social sector's working moms are not alright

Demands on both the professional and childcare fronts have increased, mothers say, and something needs to change

Why It Matters

Women make up the majority of social impact workers — 80 percent of non-profit workers alone. The sector stands to lose, or stunt the career trajectories, of the majority of its workforce if it doesn’t advocate for more accessible childcare and change its work culture to be more flexible.

Priscila Kallfelz and her family — her partner, herself, and their two-year-old daughter — live in “a tiny apartment” in midtown Toronto. She’s been working as the member services manager at YWCA Canada from the dining table for a year now, averaging three or four meetings a day and sharing the makeshift dining and living room office with her husband. 

“I find that there’s no break, you know?” she says. “In a normal situation, whenever I’m exhausted or I need a break, I’ll just send her to the park with my husband or I’ll go for dinner with my friends, but these days, it’s the three of us, all the time, together, trying to find a way to survive this whole thing.”

Time on her own or with friends was a lifeline pre-pandemic. “Since I became a mom two years ago, I kind of lost myself a little bit.”

Still, Kallfelz acknowledges that

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