31 October 2022 |

Experiences of COVID-19: The pandemic and work/life outcomes for Australian men and women


This report seeks to identify and examine the gendered impact of the pandemic on men and women in Australia from March 2020 to June 2022. In doing so, the report also explores the many additional variables – other than gender – that acted to cause individuals to have unique experiences during the pandemic.

It is important to acknowledge that there is no one-size-fits-all experience of the pandemic. Every person’s situation is different, and this report does not seek to generalise the experiences of all Australians. Rather, it seeks to identify some of the key ways gender has affected people’s lives during this time.

The pandemic has profoundly impacted employment, with many people losing their jobs or being forced to take pay cuts. Women have been particularly hard hit by job losses, as they are more likely to work in sectors that have been most affected by the pandemic. This includes sectors such as hospitality, retail, and tourism.


  • Foreword
  • Experiences of COVID-19: The Pandemic and work/life Outcomes for Australian Men and Women
  • Overview and Purpose of the Report
  • Summary of Key Findings
  • Timeline of the Pandemic
  • Gendered Results of the 2020 National Lockdown – Survey
  • Understanding the Impact of the Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic upon Men and Women
  • Complex Variables Affecting COVID-19’s Impact upon Individuals
  • Mental Health Impacts of COVID-19 in the Workplace
  • Physical Manifestations of Stress Related to COVID-19 at Home and at Work
  • Impact of COVID-19 upon Children, their Families and their Education
  • Challenges to the Organisation of Work in Response to COVID-19
  • Workplace Flexibility and Hybrid Working
  • Other Impacts of COVID-19 upon Individuals, Organisations and Industry Sectors
  • Work/Life After the Pandemic – What have we learned?
  • Conclusion and Recommendations
  • Appendix 1 – Sample, Methodology, Analysis and Limitations
  • Appendix 2 – Survey Protocol
  • Appendix 3 – Interview Questions
  • About the Authors


This report was originally published on the University of Queensland website.


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