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Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

The pandemic didn't just move us forward in terms of workplace transformations — it also moved us back, erasing decades of workplace progress and deepening existing societal inequalities.

Why it matters: It could take years to reach the levels of equity that existed before the coronavirus ravaged the U.S. economy.

1. A generation of American women has been set back.

In February, before the pandemic, women in the U.S. hit a milestone. For the first time in history, they held the majority of non-farm payroll jobs, outnumbering men in the workforce.

  • Since then, nearly 900,000 women have dropped out of the labor force, primarily due to pandemic-era child care responsibilities.

2. The pandemic has deepened the divide between the two worlds of work.

"We're seeing a really strong dichotomy between white-collar and blue-collar work," says Levit, the workplace expert. "We treat our front-line workers like cogs in the machine."

  • Front-line workers represent around 80% of the workforce, but they've received just 1% of the tech investment since the onset of the pandemic, per Levit's research.
  • While companies dove into providing mental health resources and Zoom happy hours to keep their white-collar workers sane and happy, little attention was paid to burnout among essential workers.

Go deeper with my reporting on these troubling trends from earlier this year:

Go deeper

Jan 29, 2021 - Health

WHO says most pregnant women can now receive coronavirus vaccine

A doctor administering Moderna's coronavirus vaccine at a university hospital in Essen, Germany, on Jan. 18. Photo: Lukas Schulze/Getty Images

The World Health Organization has altered its guidance for pregnant women who wish to receive the coronavirus vaccine, saying now that those at high risk of exposure to the COVID-19 or who have comorbidities that increase their risk of severe disease, may be vaccinated.

Why it matters: The WHO drew backlash for its previous guidance that did not recommend pregnant women be inoculated with vaccines made by Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna, even though data indicated that pregnancy increased the risk of developing severe illness from the virus.

AT&T spins off WarnerMedia, forming new media behemoth with Discovery

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

AT&T and Discovery have agreed to create a joint venture that would house WarnerMedia’s premium entertainment, sports and news assets with Discovery's nonfiction and international entertainment and sports businesses, the companies announced Monday.

Why it matters: It's a major course correction by AT&T. The deal essentially confirms shareholder fears that the company's $85 billion merger with Time Warner three years ago was not fully baked.

1 hour ago - Health

Child tax credits from COVID relief plan to begin arriving July 15

Biden arrives in the Rose Garden on May 13. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

The expanded monthly child tax credit introduced in President Biden's $1.9 trillion COVID relief package will begin arriving in parents' bank accounts on July 15, the White House said Monday.

Why it matters: The credit, part of the administration's plan to transform the country's social safety net in the wake of the pandemic, would provide families with $300 monthly cash payments per child up to age 5 and $250 for children ages 6–17.