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Women are reentering the workplace, but employers will have to do more for them to stick around

September 15, 2022, 11:56 AM UTC
Female labor force participation has risen to a pre-pandemic level.
Hinterhaus Productions—Getty Images

Good morning, Broadsheet readers! This is Amber Burton, author of CHRO Daily, filling in for Emma. R. Kelly is convicted of six sex crime charges, Cardi B donates $100,000 to her middle school, and employers must focus on retention as more women return to the workforce.

– Reasons to stay. Last month, U.S. women saw a major gain in labor force participation, with the proportion of women in the workforce between the ages of 25 and 54 finally rising to a pre-pandemic level of almost 75%. For employers looking to fill the stubborn talent gap while making strides on gender representation goals, this news might be cause for celebration. But researchers say such celebration is premature if structures aren’t put in place to ensure women stay in the workforce. 

It’s clear that employers still have a long way to go in meeting the basic needs of their female employees. Fewer than 30% of women say they feel included in the workplace, according to a recent report from Bain & Company. This poses a major retention risk, considering a lack of belonging is one of the top reasons employees say they’d leave a company. 

Women are also still largely shut out of some of today’s most in-demand and lucrative jobs. They currently hold just 25% of all U.S. computing jobs and 13% of engineering jobs. But representation is just one aspect. There’s also retention. 

For Bianca Bax, an expert partner at Bain, inclusion is at the crux of retaining women. “You can recruit as diverse as you want, and you will find people, but the big question is, will you keep them?” she says. “Inclusion matters for people to stay longer, be more productive, and be more of a promoter of your company, which we know has a direct link to business growth.”

Bax spoke with Fortune about the inclusive structures leaders can put in place to help ensure progress on gender equity. Read her recommendations and the full story in CHRO Daily.

Amber Burton
amber.burton@fortune.com
@amberbburton

The Broadsheet is Fortune’s newsletter for and about the world’s most powerful women. Today’s edition was curated by Paige McGlauflin. Subscribe here.

ALSO IN THE HEADLINES

- Energy reforms. The European Union will overhaul the bloc’s electricity market, European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen announced Wednesday. Energy supply and prices in Europe reached a crisis point this month after Russia indefinitely cut off gas from its Nord Stream 1 pipeline. Energy ministers met last week to discuss a five-point plan that includes a price cap on Russian gas, a revenue cap on renewable and nuclear companies, and a mandatory target to reduce peak-hour energy consumption. CNBC

- Another conviction. R. Kelly was found guilty on Wednesday on six of 13 charges for sex crimes, including coercing minors into sexual activity and producing three videos depicting child sexual abuse. Kelly and two codefendants were acquitted of obstruction charges for attempting to recover and hide incriminating videotapes. New York Times

- Service disruptions. Queen Elizabeth’s coffin arrived in London's Westminster Hall on Wednesday for her final lying in state. Ahead of her funeral Monday, businesses and essential services have scrambled to accommodate the national holiday, with sports and entertainment venues rescheduling events, hospitals postponing non-urgent surgeries, and London's Heathrow airport disrupting flights to “ensure silence” over central London. Washington Post

- Antitrust win. The EU General Court in Luxembourg rejected Google’s appeal against a $4.34 billion antitrust fine levied by European regulators in 2018. European Commission executive vice president Margrethe Vestager led the investigation, alleging Google placed unlawful restrictions on Android manufacturers to make products like Chrome and the Google Play Store the default settings on phones. New York Times

MOVERS AND SHAKERS:  Kate Johnson has been appointed president and CEO of telecommunications company Lumen Technologies. Adobe has appointed Nubiaa Shabaka as chief privacy officer and chief cybersecurity legal officer. Children's book curator and distributor Literati has hired Carla Engelbrecht, former director of product innovation at Netflix, as chief product officer. Venture capital firm Canaan has promoted Laura Chau to general partner. Kirsten Maas Helvey joins Employ Inc. as the jobvite president and general manager.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

- Better future. Cardi B donated $100,000 to her Bronx middle school’s art department, as part of a series of visits scheduled by New York’s Community Capacity Development group. The rapper, who has been vocal about the detrimental impact of inflation and housing affordability on working-class Americans, said she hopes the financial assistance will provide students with the resources needed to make better decisions for their future. Fortune

- First in space. Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti will become the first European woman to command the International Space Station later this month. She is the third woman to serve as ISS commander, following American astronauts Sunita Williams and Shannon Walker. European Space Agency

- Slow growth. Women now lead 43% of the nearly 150 Jewish federations, nonprofit organizations that support Jewish communities across the U.S. and Canada. But women are still absent from organizations in large cities and control only a quarter of the federations’ total assets. Forward

- Deferred sentence. An Iowa teenager was sentenced to five years probation on Tuesday and ordered to pay $150,000 in reparations to the family of a now-deceased man accused of raping her. Pieper Lewis, 17, was charged with first-degree murder after she stabbed 37-year-old Zachary Brooks more than 30 times in 2020. Lewis says Brooks was one of many men she was trafficked to for sex by a 28-year-old man who took her in as a runaway. Essence

ON MY RADAR

How Kendra Scott built a billion-dollar fashion empire—without Beverly Hills Wall Street Journal

Queen Elizabeth II designed her own hearse Harper’s Bazaar

How a spreader of voter fraud conspiracy theories became a star New York Times

Baltimore prosecutors move to vacate Serial subject Adnan Syed’s 1999 murder conviction of ex-girlfriend Baltimore Sun

PARTING WORDS

It’s daunting. No one will ever be able to fill his shoes.”

-Alaska Rep. Mary Peltola on succeeding the late Don Young, who held Alaska’s sole U.S. House seat for 50 years before his death in March.

This is the web version of The Broadsheet, a daily newsletter for and about the world’s most powerful women. Sign up to get it delivered free to your inbox.