The April 2021 jobs report shows women are still falling behind. Janet Yellen knows why

Good morning, Broadsheet readers! Keisha Lance Bottoms won’t run for reelection in Atlanta, the U.K. elected its first Black female mayor of a major city, and Janet Yellen knows that work lives and personal lives are connected. Have a great Monday.

– Work gets personal. For over a year now, we’ve been covering the childcare crisis facing American women. On Friday, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen put that crisis in simple terms.

“Our policymaking has not accounted for the fact that people’s work lives and their personal lives are inextricably linked, and if one suffers so does the other,” Yellen said. “The pandemic has made this very clear.”

If there was ever an issue smack dab in the center of work lives and personal lives, it’s access to childcare.

The Treasury secretary was addressing journalists at a White House press briefing following the release of the April 2021 jobs report. The monthly report showed that amid slowed hiring—the U.S. economy added only 266,000 jobs in April, the weakest month of job growth since January—women are yet again being left behind. Per a National Women’s Law Center analysis, for every woman who dropped out of the labor force last month, nearly 2.2 men returned to work.

Yellen’s explanation puts those numbers in context. When women and caregivers lack support, women’s working lives continue to bear the consequences.

This report arrives exactly a year after one of the most dramatic jobs reports of the pandemic. It was between February and April 2020 that 4.2 million women dropped out of the labor force, Yellen pointed out on Friday.

“Nearly 2 million have not yet returned,” the Treasury secretary said. “The challenge before us is to help these 2 million women to return to the labor market.”

Emma Hinchliffe

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


- A long process. The Wall Street Journal reports that Melinda Gates first consulted divorce lawyers about separating from her husband, Bill Gates, back in 2019. The story notes that those conversations began around the same time Bill Gates' ties to Jeffrey Epstein became public. Wall Street Journal

- Up next? Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms announced that she won't run for reelection—a decision that surprised many in Atlanta and national politics. One reported reason behind the choice was that Lance Bottoms would accept a job at Walgreens, now led by her friend CEO Roz Brewer, but the mayor denied that she has any plans to join the drugstore retailer. Wall Street Journal

- City history. In other mayoral news, Labour politician Joanne Anderson was elected city mayor of Liverpool, making her the first Black woman to lead a major British city. She's served as a city councillor since 2019. BBC

- Access to education. On Saturday, a bomb detonated outside a school in Kabul, during the time of day when girls attend lessons. The attack, which killed at least 50 people, highlighted the risks facing girls and women as U.S. troops leave Afghanistan—with increased access to education for girls as one of the most tangible accomplishments of the past two decades. Wall Street Journal

MOVERS AND SHAKERS: Jackie Jones was promoted to director, gender equality office of the president at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Everlane hired UNIQLO global executive creative director Shu Hung as global creative director. Fiona Story joined hospitality company Sonder as global head of communications. Nurse and Little League umpire Kelly Dine joins the Little League International board of directors. 


- Politics as usual? Dr. Rachel Levine, assistant secretary of health, is one of the most visible transgender officials in the U.S. government. In a new interview, she weighs in on her own career as well as ongoing politicization of transgender lives, from bathroom bills to debates over girls' sports. "This is politics," she says. New York Times

- Army disagreement. Capt. Kristen Griest was one of the first two women to graduate from the Army's Ranger School. Now, she objects to plans to consider men and women's scores separately to boost women's representation in the program (women were failing events requiring significant upper-body strength). "Women can do more than we think," she says. Other women in the military say they believe Griest's stance is the result of internalized misogyny. Washington Post

- House leadership. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy officially backed Rep. Elise Stefanik for a leadership spot as she vies to replace Rep. Liz Cheney in the No. 3 House Republican leadership role. While Cheney has the more conservative voting record, Stefanik has vocally supported former President Trump's denial of the 2020 election results—the last issue where Cheney broke with Trump. Washington Post


Ma’Khia Bryant’s journey through foster care ended with an officer’s bullet New York Times

In protecting Americans with disabilities, Congress has fallen short. We need a permanent solution Fortune

Erased from a Davos photo, a Ugandan climate activist is back in the picture New York Times


"When we think of her, we think of all the young women and girls around the globe who must be given the ability and the support to lead us forward."

-Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, referencing her future daughter at the global vaccine equity concert event Vax Live

Our mission to make business better is fueled by readers like you. To enjoy unlimited access to our journalism, subscribe today.

Read More

CEO DailyCFO DailyBroadsheetData SheetTerm Sheet