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Women now outnumber men in the U.S. workforce

January 13, 2020, 12:24 PM UTC
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Good morning, Broadsheet readers! President Tsai Ing-wen wins reelection in Taiwan, the fourth Women’s March is coming up, and women now outnumber men in the American workforce. Have a productive Monday.

EVERYONE’S TALKING

– Women and the workforce. The future of the workforce is female.

For the first time since 2010 and the second time ever, women outnumber men on U.S. payrolls, holding 50.4% of jobs (excluding farmworkers and the self-employed). That’s 109,000 more employed women than men—a trend that, economists say, reflects what lies ahead for American workers.

When women first surpassed men on this front, the cause was post-recession bleeding of male-dominated construction jobs. This time around, it’s that industries dominated by women are growing and expected to maintain that growth in the years ahead. Health care and education continue to add jobs, and those jobs are largely held by women.

There are some downsides—in-demand health care jobs are low-paid and sometimes part-time. But it’s worth examining how this will continue to alter our workplaces.

The most significant changes will likely be structural. Shifting demographics in the labor market could heighten pressure on employers to offer paid family leave and flexible work hours. “The bigger the footprint women have, the harder it is to say this is a fringe group that wants a fringe benefit, and the labor market won’t stand for it,” University of Michigan economist Betsey Stevenson told NPR.

The data coming out now is important—but it will be even more interesting to check back in a few years and see how women’s labor participation has pushed companies to reevaluate what they offer their workforces.

Emma Hinchliffe
emma.hinchliffe@fortune.com
@_emmahinchliffe

ALSO IN THE HEADLINES

- A quick comeback. Last month, Steph Korey stepped down as CEO of luggage startup Away after The Verge published an article in which former employees accused her of creating a toxic work culture. It seems Korey regrets that decision. The New York Times reports that Korey is returning to her role, only this time she'll be co-CEO since her replacement Stuart Haselden, formerly of Lululemon, had plans to start the job today. New York Times

- Election watch. In Taiwan, President Tsai Ing-wen won a landslide reelection. Her victory is seen as a rebuke to China and its attempts to control Taiwan's government. In the U.S., meanwhile, Marianne Williamson dropped out of the presidential race; that leaves three women in the running. And Northern Ireland's assembly opened for the first time in three years; it's led by Democratic Unionist party leader Arlene Foster as first minister and Sinn Féin’s deputy leader Michelle O’Neill as deputy first minister. 

- Pay up. Samira Ahmed, the BBC presenter who said she was underpaid £700,000 for hosting a show compared to what a male colleague made, won her case against the broadcaster on Friday. BBC was asked to prove that the disparity in pay was not based on gender, and a tribunal determined that it failed to do so. The case could encourage more women and underrepresented minorities to bring equal pay claims against the broadcaster. BBC

- Drummond's departure. Alphabet chief legal officer David Drummond is leaving the company. His departure follows the exit of Google's co-founders, with whom he had worked closely. Drummond was also under investigation for his relationships with employees; years ago, he fathered a child with a subordinate at the company who wrote a blog post last year about his alleged emotional abuse and neglect. (At the time, Drummond released a statement saying he had a “very different view” of their relationship.) He then married an employee of Google Legal—not technically his subordinate, as she works for Google rather than Alphabet—late last year. Google says that Drummond will not receive an exit package, which had been a point of contention with past executive departures under the cloud of sexual misconduct allegations. Wall Street Journal 

MOVERS AND SHAKERS: Medical robotics company Neural Analytics named former Google Cloud COO Diane M. Bryant chairman and CEO. S. Renee Smith joins RALIANCE chief corporate responsibility officer. The Women's Sports Foundation named Paralympian Alana Nichols foundation president; the organization's new board members are Catherine Aker, Katrice Albert, Meghan Duggan, Darcie Glazer Kassewitz, and Gloria Nevarez. Cecilia Alemani, curator of New York’s High Line, is the next curator of the Venice Biennale. Fanatics promoted Gina Sprenger to chief strategic retail officer. 

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

- Battle of the chips. At the Consumer Electronics Show this year, Advanced Micro Devices, led by CEO Lisa Su, showed up rival Intel. Intel has 10 times AMD's annual sales, but Su "started AMD on a path to developing a strong family of chips for PCs, servers, and graphics cards" five years ago that paid off this year, writes Fortune's Aaron Pressman. Fortune

- Flight to the top. Fortune's Susie Gharib sits down with Air France CEO Anne Rigail. She took over the job a year ago, and her first goal is to fix the airline's "fundamentals:" punctuality, operations, efficiency, safety. Watch her interview here: Fortune

- Marching on. Did you know there's another Women's March happening next weekend? The fourth annual event is flying under the radar compared to the first few, coming after the organization overhauled its leadership. Some experts say many activists' original desire to march at the dawn of the Trump Administration has evolved into donating, volunteering, and running for office. About 10,000 people are expected to turn up in D.C. for the event. Washington Post

ON MY RADAR

It's Cate Blanchett vs. feminists in FX's first Mrs. America trailer EW 

Zaghari-Ratcliffe 'having panic attacks’ since Suleimani death Guardian

Stephanie Grisham: Trump’s press secretary who doesn’t meet the press New York Times

QUOTE

"It's been a long time. I think you could see the relief on my face."

-Serena Williams in Auckland on Sunday after winning the ASB Classic. It was her first title since 2017 and since giving birth to her daughter. Williams is now the first woman to win singles titles in four different decades, and she said she'll donate the ASB prize money to Australian bushfire relief.