Perfect Storm: Women, Work, and the Covid-19 Pandemic

November 22, 2021

A Pembroke Center Virtual Panel

Tuesday, December 14, 2021
7:30 pm EST

The COVID-19 pandemic has magnified the inequalities that women experience daily, driving millions out of the labor market due to pandemic-related predicaments like school closures, lack of child care, and layoffs, with women of color and low-income workers hit especially hard. What have the fault lines that COVID laid bare revealed about women, labor, class and justice? How can our society move toward solutions to the longstanding inequities that put women so at risk, and what can be done today, to improve conditions for tomorrow? Join us for a conversation about women, work, and the pandemic.

Presented by the Friends of the Pembroke Center and the Pembroke Center Advisory Council and Co-sponsored by the Brown Women’s Network.


Alissa Quart ’94 | Executive Director of the Economic Hardship Reporting Project, Author, and Journalist


Karen Dynan ’85 | Professor of the Practice, Department of Economics and Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University

Jennifer Klein ’87, P’22 | Gender Policy Expert

Andrea M. O’Neal ’03 | Institutional Equity & Economic Justice Advocate

Register here.

About the panel:

Moderator Alissa Quart ’94 is the executive director of the Economic Hardship Reporting Project, a journalism non-profit. She is the author of four nonfiction books, including Squeezed: Why Our Families Can’t Afford America (2018), as well as two books of poetry: Her next book, Bootstrapped: Liberating Ourselves from the American Dream, is forthcoming in 2022 from Ecco/HarperCollins. Her multimedia work includes the new podcast series Going for Broke with Ray Suarez.  She has received an Emmy and a Nieman Fellowship and has taught here at Brown and also at Columbia School of Journalism. Alissa concentrated in English at Brown with honors in creative writing and received an M.S. in Journalism from Columbia.

Panelist Karen Dynan, Class of 1985, is Professor of the Practice in the Department of Economics and at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard. She served as Assistant Secretary for Economic Policy and Chief Economist at the U.S. Department of the Treasury from 2014 to 2017, where she led analysis of economic conditions and development of policies to address the nation’s economic challenges. From 2009 to 2013, Karen was vice president and co-director of the Economic Studies program at the Brookings Institution. Karen concentrated in applied math and economics at Brown and received her PhD and AM in Economics from Harvard.

Panelist Jennifer Klein, Class of 1987, and parent, class of 2022, serves as Co-Chair and Executive Director of the White House Gender Policy Council.  She was previously the Chief Strategy and Policy Officer at TIME’S UP.  She has written and taught extensively about domestic and global gender policy, and worked with Hillary Clinton to develop No Ceilings, an initiative to evaluate progress for women and girls since the 1995 Beijing Conference on Women and to advance gender equality around the world. From 2009 to 2012, Jennifer was a Deputy and Senior Advisor in the Office of Global Women's Issues within the Office of the Secretary of State.  Jennifer concentrated in history at Brown, and holds a J.D. from Columbia University School of Law.

Panelist Andrea M. O’Neal, Class of 2003, has 20 years of experience championing the advancement of marginalized communities with expertise in institutional equity, racial and economic justice, organizational behavior, and cultural change management. She is a presidential appointee in the Biden-Harris Administration, serving as the Senior Advisor to the Administrator for Equity at the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA). Andrea has served as a committee member for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation's Equitable Futures Project, the Ambassadors Program for the Smithsonian Museum of African American History & Culture, and Brown's Presidential Task Force on Anti-Black Racism and President's Leadership Council. Andrea concentrated in business economics at Brown and received an M.S. in Journalism from Columbia. She is the President elect of the Inman Page Black Alumni Council.


The 2021-22 academic year marks the 40th anniversary of the Pembroke Center, which was founded a decade after Pembroke College, the coordinate women’s college of Brown, merged fully with the men’s college. As the greater Brown community marks 130 years of women at Brown, the Pembroke Center is delighted to celebrate its groundbreaking research on women and forms of difference, and its teaching, curatorial, and community-building missions.

CC is available for this event. To request assistance for this event, please contact the University Event & Conference Services Office at [email protected].