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Photo: Cleo

A coalition of tech companies has signed a pledge to find ways to support working parents at their firms through the coronavirus crisis, thereby setting examples for other employers.

Why it matters: Many parents face the taxing challenge of having to homeschool their kids while also working from home during the pandemic.

Details: The "Invest in Parents" initiative involves several nonprofits and is being coordinated by Cleo, a startup that provides services to new parents as an employer-paid benefit, along with several nonprofits.

  • Organizers of the pledge include PL+US, Happiest Baby, and The Mom Project.
  • The coalition includes Salesforce, Uber, Snap, Box, Pinterest, Niantic and Zoom.
  • Other signatories include PepsiCo, Okta, Pure Storage, UrbanSitter, Winnie, Cloudflare, The Wing, Cora, and the Detox Market as well as VC firms GV, NEA and Greylock.

What's happening: "Working parents aren't OK," Cleo CEO Sarahjane Sacchetti tells Axios.

  • The effort is designed to build pressure among companies to provide resources and support for both parents and their managers.
  • In a survey, 20% of parents say they or their partner are considering leaving the workforce over childcare concerns, while many others are considering moving closer to family. Roughly half of parents said they had no childcare.
  • Early reports also suggest the burden is falling heaviest on women, threatening to reverse gains made in recent years by the tech industry.

"Working mothers are being pushed even further to the brink," Sacchetti adds. "We don’t want to see diversity and inclusion fall apart."

Editor's note: This story has been corrected from an earlier version that listed Slack as one of the companies signing the working parents pledge.

Go deeper

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
Aug 22, 2020 - Health

Better testing can fight more than the pandemic

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

New coronavirus diagnostics could eventually enable near-constant testing — and herald a future where even common infections no longer go undiagnosed.

Why it matters: Rapid testing could be especially important during the winter, when it will become vital to quickly distinguish between an ordinary cold or flu and a new disease like COVID-19.

The cost of closed schools

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

When schools close down, the whole economy suffers.

Why it matters: Beyond the stress of overwhelmed parents or the cabin fever of restless kids, closing schools for COVID-19 could cost about $700 billion in lost revenue and productivity, according to a Barron's analysis — a whopping 3.5% of GDP.

Aug 25, 2020 - Health

The newest C-suite job is chief medical officer

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

There's a hot new executive position at big companies: chief medical officer.

Why it matters: The coronavirus exposed a slew of vulnerabilities within our society, and one of them was the inability of large corporations to protect workers. Now, many firms are putting physicians in their C-suites to address some of those problems.