TEMPE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) - Heather Aguilar is like a lot of hard working professional women in Arizona who aren't working as much these days because of COVID-19.

The health pandemic has forced Aguillar to cut back hours at the Tempe's Savvy Stylist Salon, so she can be home with her kids.

"It's been a whole new normal," said Aguilar. "I've had to cut back on clients, that's my income, having to re-arrange schedules to be able to accommodate zoom meetings and staying on top of their schoolwork."

The Valley mom has found a way to continue her career, but other working women aren't as fortunate. According to new numbers from the federal government, hundreds of thousands of women are leaving the workforce across the country. Just last month, roughly 617,000  women left the workplace, compared to only 78,000 men.

Michelle Pabis is vice president of Government and Community Affairs with HonorHealth. She said the balancing act between work life and family can be overwhelming when there's not a pandemic.

So now, with so many kids home doing on-line learning, and limited childcare choices, moms are not left with a lot of options. "A lot of times we had families that had help to care for children so parents could work, maybe that's not happening now because grandma and grandpa shouldn't be around small children and be at risk," said Pabis. "Obviously, with kids being in school, those are some child care options, but at the end of the day, you're trying to make best decisions for your family to support your children."

Jason Barry is best known for his Dirty Dining Report which airs Fridays at 6:30 p.m. on CBS 5.  He is also the storyteller behind CBS 5's Pay It Forward which airs every Thursday at 6:30 p.m.
 
 

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