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On Thursday, November 18th, Axios business reporter Erica Pandey discussed how the increased need for caregiving impacted labor force participation and considered how businesses can provide support for employee caregivers, featuring Rep. Judy Chu (D-Calif.) and National Women’s Law Center president & CEO Fatima Goss Graves.

Rep. Judy Chu highlighted the importance of a comprehensive caregiving economy and discussed potential solutions to the issues that are broken in the caregiving economy right now.

  • On the importance of a comprehensive caregiving economy: “The worry that you have about a loved one is not confined to just a child, it’s not just confined to an elderly parent. It is everywhere. There are so many people who are just totally concerned about what they would do if a loved one does get sick. And that’s why paid leave is the ultimate solution…”
  • On the need for support for caregivers through paid leave programs: “We are the only industrialized nation that does not have a national paid leave program. Our situation is such that only 23% of those in private industry have any kind of paid leave at all.”

Fatima Goss Graves illustrated how the pandemic impacted participation in the workforce for women and considered how businesses and governments can invest in the caregiving economy.

  • On the current state of labor force participation for women: “Today, women’s share of the workforce is back to where we were in 1988 levels. This is not a thing that’s going to be solved overnight. Part of that problem is that we had a care crisis that was largely invisible even before the pandemic.”
  • On how businesses should think about post-pandemic employee caregiving: “I think businesses who think everything is going to snap back in some post-pandemic world, and that people can pretend they no longer have children or families that they care for are making a giant mistake. What they should have hopefully learned in this period is how essential caregiving is for workers and that they can do their part.”

Axios VP of Events & Creative Strategy Kristin Burkhalter hosted a View from the Top segment with Facebook Head of US Policy Programs Avra Siegel, who emphasized why it is important for businesses to care for employees who are caring for their loved ones.

  • “That’s why we created things like COVID leave, why we work with vendors to create programs to support people who are navigating the system for older adults that they care for. That’s why we’ve increased our wellness benefits, because so often it’s the caregiver that gets lost in all of this, the caregiver needs to be cared for as well.

Thank you Facebook for sponsoring this event.

Go deeper

Updated Nov 22, 2021 - Axios Events

Watch: A conversation on financial inclusion

On Monday, November 22nd, Axios co-founder Mike Allen and executive editor Aja Whitaker-Moore discussed how the public and private sectors are expanding access to capital and services for those who’ve been excluded from the financial system, featuring Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) and Women’s World Banking president and CEO Mary Ellen Iskenderian.

Sen. Tim Scott explained how he came to understand the importance of financial literacy, what the U.S. government can do to promote financial inclusion, and the primary issues that underbanked populations face.

  • On the role of financial literacy in setting up for future success: “Financial literacy has so much to do with your future success and your present opportunities, and having not learned those lessons early in life, I wanted to make sure that a part of my focus is on making sure that Americans today, no matter what their income, they have access to financial literacy.”
  • On helping credit worthy individuals have access to more financial opportunities: “We think about those folks who today are credit worthy, but they are credit invisible, so we want to make sure that more of your information finds itself into the credit scoring agencies’ hands, so that if you’re credit worthy, you have access to more products within the portfolio because you’ve earned it.”

Mary Ellen Iskenderian illustrated which populations are most impacted by divides in economic opportunity, how to reach women and help them gain better access to financial resources, and the rise of digital technology in banking.

  • On how the pandemic impacted economic inclusion for women: “I think one of the really seminal, important takeaways...was just how women in every geography, every age, every economic segment have really been disproportionately affected by both the health aspect of the pandemic...but also in the economic part of the pandemic. We saw unemployment rates across the globe 2 percentage points higher everywhere for women than for men.”
  • On disparities in access to digital banking: “So much of financial inclusion, financial outreach, to underserved populations today is being done through cell phone technology. But still, we’ve got a 15% gender gap in ownership of smartphones in particular.”

Axios VP of Finance and Accounting Abby Clawson hosted a View from the Top segment with TransUnion president and CEO Chris Cartwright, who conveyed ways to help more Americans become full participants in the financial ecosystem.

  • “There are a variety of non-loan financial activities that we believe should be included in the modern credit reporting system in order to expand access to that system for the tens of millions of Americans who currently don’t have it.”

Thank you TransUnion for sponsoring this event.

31 mins ago - Health

First known U.S. case of the Omicron variant identified in California

PhotoL Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The first known U.S. case of the Omicron variant was detected in California, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed Wednesday.

Driving the news: The confirmed case was detected in a traveler returning from South Africa who was fully vaccinated and has mild symptoms, according to the CDC.

Supreme Court appears likely to roll back abortion rights

Abortion rights advocates and anti-abortion protesters demonstrate in front of the Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., on Dec. 1. Photo: Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

The Supreme Court on Wednesday seemed likely to weaken abortion rights and perhaps to let states ban the procedure altogether.

The intrigue: The court seemed likely to throw out the framework established in Roe v. Wade, but it wasn't clear whether a majority of the justices were inclined to overturn the court's precedents entirely.