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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.

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
57 mins ago - Economy & Business

How the tech stock selloff is hurting average Americans

Expand chart
Data: FactSet; Chart: Axios Visuals

Investors holding the ultra-popular Nasdaq 100 and S&P 500 index funds have been hard hit over the last two weeks as tech shares have been roiled by rising U.S. Treasury yields.

Why it matters: Even though the economy is growing and many U.S. stocks are performing well, most investors are seeing their wealth decline because major indexes no longer reflect the overall economy or even a broad swath of public companies — they reflect the performance of a few of the country's biggest companies.

1 hour ago - World

UN rights chief: At least 54 killed, 1,700 detained since Myanmar coup

A Feb. 7 protest in Yangon, Myanmar. Photo: Getty Images/Getty Images

Police and military officers in Myanmar have killed at least 54 people during anti-coup protests, while "arbitrarily" detaining over 1,700 people, United Nations Human Rights Commissioner Michelle Bachelet said Thursday.

Why it matters: Protesters have demonstrating across Myanmar for nearly a month, demanding the restoration of democracy after the country's military leaders overthrew its democratically elected government on Feb. 1.