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But instead of celebrating our community’s contributions to American society, we have become the new scapegoat for a health and economic crisis that continues to devastate families and economies the world over.

This “new normal” can have adverse consequences for women, especially young women and women of color, by providing them with fewer opportunities for growth.

And in the long-term, business leaders can commit to making worker-friendly policies, such as paid sick leave, paid family and medical leave, affordable child care, and policies to end pregnancy discrimination, a permanent fixture in their workplace.

In fact, policies such as paid sick leave are critical during economic downturns ⁠— research has found that productivity drops by 20 percent when employees work when they are sick.

And providing paid sick days could save employers up to $1.8 billion each year through fewer absences from reduced spread of flu-like illnesses alone.

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