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Low-paying jobs aren’t going to solve women’s unemployment crisis

June 7, 2021, 12:31 PM UTC

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Good morning, Broadsheet readers! Kamala Harris takes her first foreign trip, Meghan and Harry name their daughter for the Queen and Diana, and the May jobs report reminds us that the pandemic’s employment crisis isn’t over. Have a mindful Monday.

– Jobs, jobs, jobs. Last week included the first Friday of the month, which means one thing: the monthly U.S. jobs report. In May 2021, women gained 56% of the month’s jobs, a solid figure but a lower share than the month before and nowhere near enough to recover the losses of the past year-plus. (We’d need at least 13 months of job gains at the same level for that.)

Some more highlights, per the National Women’s Law Center: Unemployment was 8.2% for Black women and 7.4% for Latinas. (White men: 5.1%.) The economy gained 559,000 jobs in total, which means women began 313,000 new positions. There are still 1.8 million fewer women in the workforce than there were at the start of the pandemic.

But these numbers arrive amid worries in some industries—mostly those that employ low-paid, hourly workers—about a potential labor shortage. May’s results serve as a reminder that women who’ve been forced out of the workforce this year may not return for a job that doesn’t pay enough or treat them well enough, especially as childcare remains inaccessible to so many. (Another jobs report stat: The childcare industry has lost one in eight jobs since March 2020.)

In the words of the NWLC, “There isn’t a labor shortage—but there is a shortage of high-quality jobs that pay enough to get women and families back on their feet.”

Emma Hinchliffe
emma.hinchliffe@fortune.com
@_emmahinchliffe

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

- Risk/reward. One way to describe Kamala Harris's mandate so far as vice president? "High-risk, high-reward." From her work on voting rights to migration at the Southern border (the issue at the center of her first foreign trip to Guatemala and Mexico this week), she's taking on difficult tasks ahead of a potential run for President. New York Times

- Double namesake. Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex and Prince Harry announced the birth of their second child—a daughter named Lilibet Diana, for the Queen (Lilibet is her family nickname) and Princess Diana. The baby was born on Friday in Santa Barbara, California. Meghan and Harry will both take parental leave from their work with Archewell. AP

- Reverse course. Goldman Sachs will support a proposal to prepare a report on how mandatory arbitration affects its workplace and employees. The bank had opposed participating in such a report but reversed course after a shareholder vote revealed strong support for the idea. The proposal was backed by former Fox News anchor Gretchen Carlson, who has advocated against measures like mandatory arbitration in sexual harassment cases. Bloomberg 

- Home stretch. In the home stretch of the NYC mayoral race, Maya Wiley secured the coveted endorsement of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Wiley hasn't been in the lead in the polls, but she's hoping to see a surge—like competitor Kathryn Garcia did after her NYT endorsement. The New Yorker

MOVERS AND SHAKERS: Booster hired Juliana Chen as general counsel. Debbie McCoy, former head of sustainable investing for BlackRock Systematic, joins Bain & Company as a partner in its sustainability and corporate responsibility practice. Jade Mandel, Goldman Sachs VP for venture capital and growth equity, joins the board of auto fintech startup MotoRefi. Ann Livermore, a former longtime HP exec, joins the board of Samsara. Condé Nast named Millie Tran, former Texas Tribune chief product officer, VP, content strategy and growth. 

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

- Name game. The latest WNBA season is underway, and there's a problem: broadcasters and announcers can't seem to pronounce the names of the league's players. Teams provide those professionals with pronunciation guides, and yet the problem is worse in the WNBA than the NBA. Black players and international athletes are hearing their names messed up most often. Vice

- GOAT on tour. The usual post-Olympics USA Gymnastics tour will look a little different this year. Simone Biles will instead headline the Gold Over America Tour—a play on "GOAT." The tour follows the trend of athletes taking greater control over their careers—especially in a sport with a struggling governing body like USA Gymnastics. Plus, Biles set yet another record by winning her seventh women's all-around title on Sunday. Wall Street Journal

- Surrogate supply. The availability of women who want to serve as surrogates for couples trying to have a baby has ebbed and flowed throughout the pandemic. Now it's at an all-time low; directors of programs that match surrogates and parents say many surrogates have pulled their availability as they, like so many others, look forward to post-pandemic plans. Fortune

ON MY RADAR

How the world learns about bosses behaving badly New York Times

The cost of being an 'interchangeable Asian' New York Times

Punk was never just for white dudes Slate

PARTING WORDS

"It’s something you can be proud of, it’s something you can celebrate and something you can live with."

-Reuters executive editor Gina Chua on her identity as a transgender woman. Chua, 60, transitioned genders in 2020 and is now one of the most senior trans journalists in the U.S. 

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