Good morning, Broadsheet readers! Gina McCarthy gets to rebuild her climate legacy, the EU takes on artificial intelligence, and a new study explores how caregiving duties shaped women’s employment outcomes. Have a thoughtful Thursday.
– So predictable. The unemployment crisis now facing female caregivers was arguably pretty predictable. Subtract in-person school, nurseries, and adult-care providers from the equation, keep work responsibilities constant, and—poof!—you’ve got real devastation on your hands.
A new study suggests that we could have predicted which women were likely to leave the workforce at an even more granular level by looking at what share of caregiving duties they were responsible for.
Researchers from the University of Utah, Ball State, and the University of Buffalo found that of mothers in different-sex relationships who shouldered 80-100% of the care of young children, one in two voluntarily exited the workforce or reduced their paid working hours. Among mothers whose male partners did 40-60% of caregiving, the probability that they left the workforce or cut their hours was 15%, similar to father’s 11%.
“Given that women in partnerships with egalitarian childcare arrangements are less likely to reduce their labor force participation, fathers’ efforts to increase their domestic contributions may have somewhat protected mothers’ jobs during the early pandemic—a sobering thought given how many mothers left or lost their jobs,” the authors wrote in HBR. The findings, they say, “indicate that many more men can step up and alleviate some of the burdens on their partners.”
The pressing question is how to ensure that happens. The authors say that the ability to work from home during the pandemic seemed to increase father engagement. At the same time, the share of fathers who shifted to working from home didn’t match the uptick in domestic contribution because “remote work is not necessarily flexible work.”
I went ahead and underlined that line twice.
Employers are rightfully concerned about retaining their female employees and rehiring women who exited the COVID-era workforce. But any solution to this crisis needs must also consider women’s partners and ensure that they too have the flexibility to contribute at home.
Editor’s Note: Fortune’s Brainstorm Health, co-chaired by Arianna Huffington, kicks off next week, April 27-28. The speaker line-up is jam-packed with big names like CVS CEO Karen Lynch, Nobel Laureate Dr. Frances Arnold, 23andMe CEO Anne Wojcicki, Accenture CEO Julie Sweet, Army surgeon general Ltg (ret) Nadja West, Gro Intelligence founder and CEO Sara Menker and many more. The Broadsheet will bring you a recap of the conference, but we encourage you to participate directly by signing up here.
The Broadsheet, Fortune’s newsletter for and about the world’s most powerful women, is coauthored by Kristen Bellstrom, Emma Hinchliffe, and Claire Zillman. Today’s edition was curated by Emma Hinchliffe.
ALSO IN THE HEADLINES
- Black lives matter. Ma'Khia Bryant, 16, was killed by police in Columbus, Ohio on Tuesday. The release of body camera footage shortly after the announcement of the guilty verdict in Derek Chauvin's murder of George Floyd drew further attention to the teenager's death. Columbus Dispatch
- EU vs. A.I. Under the leadership of digital technology czar Margrethe Vestager, the EU proposed new rules governing artificial intelligence, banning "manipulative A.I.," A.I. used for "indiscriminate surveillance," and more. The rules apply to technology that affects any EU citizen—a market and workforce of 450 million people. Fortune
- Take two. Gina McCarthy built the Obama administration's work on climate change, only to watch it get dismantled by the Trump White House. Now that she's back in the Biden administration, McCarthy has another chance to rebuild that legacy—and more. New York Times
- Financial equity. April is National Financial Literacy Month. In honor of the month, Kayla Jones, chief community engagement officer for the nonprofit Sadie Collective, which supports Black women in economics and beyond, highlights nine Black women who are using technology to combat financial inequity. Fortune
MOVERS AND SHAKERS: Away named cofounder Jen Rubio CEO; she'd been serving in the role on an interim basis. The travel brand also hired retail vet Laura Willensky as chief commercial officer. Nicole Wong, former deputy U.S. chief technology officer, is joining the board of the Filecoin Foundation, while Kristin Smith, executive director of the Blockchain Association, is joining the board of the Filecoin Foundation for the Decentralized Web.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
- Exit strategy. In a new interview, Citigroup CEO Jane Fraser explains why she decided to exit the bank's consumer operations in 13 countries. "We want to close the return gap with our peers," Fraser said. "To do that you take a candid assessment of which of the businesses that you’re going to be in a position to succeed in winning, and which ones are perhaps in better hands with another bank." CNBC
- TV first. The series Rutherford Falls premieres today on Peacock. The show makes Sierra Teller Ornelas the first Native American to run a television comedy. Teller Ornelas created the series with Parks and Recreation's Michael Schur, and she says her career in TV continues her great-great-grandfather's legacy; as a storyteller, he was assigned the name "Teller" by the American government during the Navajo Long Walk. New York Times
- EIB environment. The European Investment Bank, the funding arm of the EU, has been plagued by reports of a toxic work environment, especially after two employees died by suicide on the bank's premises. Now a new investigation outlines how employees say allegations of sexual harassment, bullying, and discrimination go unpunished at the bank. The EIB says there is "no evidence linking either death to work-related issues." Bloomberg
ON MY RADAR
Why women do the household worrying New York Times
I'll never watch TV moms the same way again Slate
Publisher halts Philip Roth book amid sexual abuse claims against biographer Guardian
"Translation, to me, is metamorphosis. It is a kind of radical re-creation of the work, because you are recreating the language to allow that work to be reborn."
-Author Jhumpa Lahiri on her novel Whereabouts. The usually English-language author wrote the book in Italian and translated it to English herself—the first time a Knopf writer has translated their own work.