From reporting by Wisconsin Public Radio, the blow that our state’s working women feel has been major. By some counts, it could be analogous to “the erasure of 40 years of progress.”

According to WPR, between April and August, joblessness for women was higher than men for four months straight.

Many families have lost major chunks of their household income, particularly when both parents are working full time positions. In many cases, it is women who opt to take pay cuts or leave their positions to focus on taking care of their children as both mothers and teachers.

According to Joan Williams, a professor of law at the University of California-Hastings Law and director of the Center for WorkLife Law, “What we’re really facing is a potential wipe out of an entire generation of mothers’ careers and the erasure of 40 years of progress. Many women are doing at least three people’s jobs. They’re doing their own job, they’re doing their child care worker’s job, and they’re being teacher’s tech aid.”

The ramifications of this massive job loss may not be fully realized for years, even decades, to come. According to Tessa Conroy, an assistant professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, women could ultimately return to drastically diminished job prospects and professional opportunities.

She notes, according to WPR, “If these women do eventually return to work, they’ll probably earn less. It can be difficult to get back on the same earnings trajectory after a period of joblessness, especially during a recession. The longer you’re out, the harder it can be.”

To get the full scope of this ongoing issue and digest the thoughts of the expert voices that are weighing in, you can read more here.