Good morning, Broadsheet readers! Jamie Lee Curtis reaches a milestone with Halloween, Fortune’s Most Powerful Women Next Gen is open for registration, and childcare now costs more than college tuition in more than half of U.S. states. Have a terrific Tuesday.
• Cost of care. Here’s something I suspect all the parents reading this newsletter can agree on: childcare is expensive—in fact, it’s way too expensive.
In this story, Claire reports on new research from advocacy group Child Care Aware of America, which finds that the national average cost of childcare is now between $9,000 and $9,600 per year. That’s already a pretty big number, but depending on the type of care and where you live, it can get much higher; in Massachusetts, for instance, center-based infant care will run a family $20,415 annually. In fact, the organization reports that in 29 states and the District of Columbia, the cost of center-based infant care exceeded one year’s worth of tuition and fees at a four-year public university.
Perhaps not surprisingly, these figures mean many parents are spending significantly more than the 7% or less of family income that the Department of Health and Human Services deems as the standard for affordable child care. Meanwhile, the U.S. government allocated 0.3% of GDP to funding care in 2013—Turkey is the only country in the OECD that spent less.
While that leaves parents bearing a massive burden, it’s not just a micro problem. When the costs of childcare outweigh the benefits of working, one parent is likely to stay home and—surprise!—that parent is most likely to be the mom. And when that becomes a widespread phenomenon, the effects can be felt throughout the economy.
A recent IMF report found that the U.S. has dropped well behind other advanced economies in terms of women’s participation in the labor market (from No. 2 in 1985 to No. 9 in 2016). And it’s not just that other countries are seeing improvement: As Claire reports, 57.2% of working-age women participated in the U.S. labor force in 2016, down from 60.7% at the turn of the century.
That is not a good trend. While the stress placed on individual families does not seem to be enough to convince the government to take serious action to address the problem, let us hope the likely economic effects of losing a significant chunk of our female workforce will be. Fortune
ALSO IN THE HEADLINES
• Next Gen time! We’re starting to get ridiculously excited about Fortune‘s Most Powerful Women Next Gen Summit, which will take place in Laguna Niguel, Calif. on Dec. 11-12. We’re still fine-tuning the program, but here’s a sneak peek at who’s already on the agenda: Goop’s Gwyneth Paltrow, Glossier’s Emily Weiss, Backstage Capital’s Arlan Hamilton, Facebook’s Jennifer Dulski, and Amazon’s Toni Reid. Interested in attending? Register here. Have a 45-and-under star you’d like to nominate? Let us know here. Fortune
• Flying solo. One in five women report being the only woman in the room at work—and being the only one has consequences. Women who are surrounded by men in the office are 50% more likely to ponder quitting and experience sexual harassment and microaggressions at a higher rate. Fortune
• ‘Against a federal registry of genitals.’ After the news that the Trump administration is moving to define gender as assigned at birth—effectively eliminating the federal government’s acknowledgment and protection of transgender people—here’s a helpful primer on the many problems such a change would create. To start, it “runs counter to developmental biology and individual privacy.” The Atlantic
• Expert testimony. Moira Donegan, the author of last year’s “Shitty Media Men” list now facing a $1.5 million lawsuit from Stephen Elliott, has secured a book deal. Donegan will write a “primer on sexual harassment and assault as lived experience and moral and political challenge for feminists.” The Cut
MOVERS AND SHAKERS: Tiffani McCoy is the new general counsel for digital currency marketplace HBUS. Deborah DiSanzo is leaving her role as head of IBM Watson Health.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
• Horror history. The horror movie reboot Halloween starring Jamie Lee Curtis opened at $77.5 million this weekend—making it the biggest movie to ever open with a woman over 55 years old as the lead. The Wrap
• Troll-in-chief. Maria Zakharova has revolutionized Russia’s approach to communicating with the world through tactics familiar to anyone who’s watched a Trump White House press briefing. Her dismissal of journalists, blaming of fake news, and social media-first approach have made her well known in Russia, too. BuzzFeed News
• All about anger. We’ve heard a lot about women’s anger leading up to the midterms, often in the context of the Trump administration. But conservative women are angry too, a phenomenon that’s playing out in Wisconsin’s Senate race between Leah Vukmir and Sen. Tammy Baldwin. The New Yorker
• Unlucky 13. YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki is trying to mobilize YouTubers against Article 13, European Union copyright legislation. “This legislation poses a threat to both your livelihood and your ability to share your voice with the world,” she wrote in a blog post addressed to YouTube creators. Variety
ON MY RADAR
Angie Thomas, author of The Hate U Give, has a message for young people BuzzFeed
I believe her: A reading list Longreads
The Depop sellers shaking up fashion The Guardian
Berthe Morisot, ‘woman impressionist,’ emerges from the margins The New Yorker