In the pandemic, ‘women’s work’ is critical care

To the list of groups disproportionately harmed by the coronavirus pandemic — health care workers, nursing home residents, the poor, people of color — we must now add another: women.

a hand holding a small piece of food: Sara Adelman holds her daughter Amelia's hand at their home in Salt Lake City in May. Adelman was burning through her vacation time to help manage her current status as a working-from-home mom since her daughter's day care closed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

© Rick Bowmer
Sara Adelman holds her daughter Amelia’s hand at their home in Salt Lake City in May. Adelman was burning through her vacation time to help manage her current status as a working-from-home mom since her daughter’s day care closed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Although COVID-19 is not necessarily more contagious or deadly for women than for men, it is women who have borne the greater economic burden. They tend to be employed in the sectors hollowed out by the pandemic: education, hospitality, retail. And they are chiefly responsible for caregiving, whether of children now home from school or elderly relatives needing support in the pandemic. In September, more than 860,000 women dropped out of the US labor force, four times the number of men. Is it any surprise the retreat coincided with the start of a new school year?

COVID-19 is forcing women out of the workforce. Transparency and openness is the only way forward

One in four women is considering leaving the workforce due to the pandemic, and for the 40 percent who are the sole or primary breadwinner in their families (70 percent for Black women), it is not a casual choice. Taking a break from the labor market aggravates the wage gap even for career professional women; many lower-income workers lose their jobs altogether, launching a downward spiral of debt, hunger, and eviction.

Affordable, accessible, high-quality child care could spell the difference for millions of women between economic stability and this cascade of woes. Unfortunately, it’s harder to find than bipartisan comity in Washington. “We have a systemic problem of devaluing the role of women in the economy,” said Representative Katherine Clark of Massachusetts in an interview, “and the plight of the child-care industry is a symptom of that problem.”

Day care, already in short supply, becomes scarcer during the pandemic

The US Department of Health and Human Services defines “affordable” child care as costing no more than 7 percent of a family’s income. In Massachusetts, according to the Economic Policy Institute, day care for a 4-year-old costs on average $15,095 a year, which is 16 percent of median income even in this high-wage state. And it’s certainly not the (overwhelmingly female) workers who are getting rich on this expensive service; the median wage for a child-care worker in Massachusetts is $27,680. Despite the many political paeans to the sanctity of the family, society still sees child care as a private responsibility, not a public good.

It was not always thus. During World War II, when Rosie and her sister riveters were recruited into the labor force, the US government developed heavily-subsidized “emergency nurseries” targeted to communities engaged in defense production. But President Franklin D. Roosevelt, and many working mothers, remained ambivalent about outsourcing the care of children, and when the war

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How to identify your team’s remote work style

From an abundance of communication to uninterrupted blocks of alone time, we all have certain ways we like to get things done. When everyone is in the office, it can be easy to identify an employee’s style by observing their behavior. With remote working arrangements, however, it can be harder to discern. When you’re a leader, it’s important to identify and understand your team members’ styles, says Ed McQuiston, executive vice president at the content services provider Hyland.

“Everybody works differently,” he says. “Some want to interact quite a bit, some prefer to be given work and then left to do it, and others fall somewhere in between.”

As a manager, don’t assume that what works best for you is the best practice for everyone, says Amanda Kowal Kenyon, partner and chief organizational effectiveness officer at the communications consulting firm Ketchum. “Flex your approach to accommodate your direct reports if you want to help them thrive and deliver their best work,” she says. “The easiest method is simply to ask them, and then experiment for a time-bound period.”

Identifying Remote Working Styles

Communication is more important than ever. The methods used to communicate from a distance can provide you with clues on how people prefer to interact. For example, you may have an employee who keeps their camera off during a videoconference.

“Leaders need to be in tune with that and have an instinct for what that person is saying through verbal and nonverbal actions,” says McQuiston. “In some ways, it’s like sitting in a room with someone who keeps their arms folded. When everyone is in an office, people manage their energy on their own. People can put their heads down and work all day, while some benefit from seeking out hallway conversations. Their unique needs could be managed on their own, but now they don’t have those same opportunities.”

Workplace preference assessments can provide additional richness for both conversations as well as experimenting with your colleagues’ desired ways of working. For example, Social Styles identifies four personality types, and Kowal Kenyon says they can give managers parameters on how to communicate and engage:

  • Drivers like to keep it brief. “They want to get in, discuss results, keep it to essential business, and get on with it,” she says.
  • Expressives like to talk and think aloud. “They will appreciate webcams or phone, value in-the-moment conversations over a lot of prework, and like to connect both personally and professionally,” says Kowal Kenyon.
  • Amiables value relationship security and want to put their best foot forward with their manager. “They often appreciate agendas in advance and having time to think before speaking,” she says. “They, too, value face time on camera and want to have an unrushed conversation that includes both professional and personal connection.”
  • Analytics value preparedness and having time to think in advance, often preferring written to verbal communications. “They may prefer nonwebcam interactions and appreciate agendas in advance, and the opportunity to offer thinking in writing after a conversation,”
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Tech companies are moving to hybrid work model: Nasscom’s Debjani Ghosh

NEW DELHI: Talent development has to become a national priority for India as the demand for new age digital skills is growing rapidly. It is eight times higher than supply today and by 2024, it is expected to be 20 times higher than supply, said Debjani Ghosh, president, The National Association of Software and Service Companies (Nasscom).

In an interview, Ghosh spoke on new technologies, work-from-home for IT companies and digital talent. Edited excerpts:

Also read: India can’t make up its mind on PSUs, 30 years after liberalisation

How can enterprises and businesses unlock the potential of new technologies like AI?

We did a research with McKinsey and found that in the next few years, if India can use artificial intelligence (AI) right, then it has the potential to add an incremental of around $500 billion to our GDP. There are several gaps today, which have to be taken into account but, the secret sauce is execution. So, identifying what problems, for example, of increasing supply chain effectiveness or water conservation is a huge one where AI can play a big role. It’s important for us to identify the priorities and the problems you want to solve, then build out the national data sets for these particular verticals, make sure that the protocols are in place for the utilization of data, build out the talent, and build out the regulatory framework. So that’s the approach that has to be taken.

With most companies working from home, what is the model moving forward?

We’re going to move towards a hybrid model for sure. None of the large companies are going to go back 100% on campus, nor are we going to see 100% remote working. But the pandemic has taught us that there are tremendous benefits to remote working. One of them is the ability for people to work from their hometowns, which allows them more time to do things. This will also support the gig economy and spur higher involvement of communities in smaller towns. There’s also a benefit of enabling people whether it is your gender or any other special needs, disabilities, where you could not go to work but have the ability to do so. Companies should have the right to decide what works for them, whether it’s 60-40, 70-30, 30-70 ratio.

How will the new regime in the US impact the H1 B visa issue?

I don’t do much crystal ball game gazing. We’ll wait and see how it plays out but if US has to continue to lead in innovation, they need talent more than ever. Indian IT companies take less than 10% of the H1B visas. More than 90% are taken by the MNCs and the companies that are the biggest takers of H1B are also the biggest investors in innovation and R&D, which means there’s a strong correlation between our talent and the innovation that’s happening in US. Given that there is a need to fuel and accelerate the pace of innovation, there’s going

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Celebrate Life and Work Memories With This Unique Holiday Gift for Any Entrepreneur, On Sale for Cyber Monday

This gifting season is an unusual one. Chances are, most of us won’t be able to do the type of large in-person gatherings we’re used to. And with more intimate holiday celebrations, it may make sense to give something a little more thoughtful and personal, too. That’s where Lifekive comes in.

Lifekive is an exclusive concierge service dedicated to celebrating every individual’s essential memories. It’s a complete package that tells someone’s entire life story or helps to commemorate and honor an important milestone.

With Lifekive, you get your own Starter Kit, which includes everything you need to progress through the Lifekive process. There are detailed instructions, pickup scheduling, and protection insurance so the photos and artifacts you provide the service are completely safe. Once you send off the essential items to make your gift, the photos and artifacts you provide are transformed into an incredible collection of keepsakes.

First, there’s an 11×11 hardcover book with 50 to 100 pages that perfectly captures the photos you provide. They’re printed in HD with 4-ink color technology for an ultra-sharp and dynamic finish while professional photographers, editors, and storytellers come together to complete the book.

Then, there’s a professionally edited video montage of the memories you provide, produced in full resolution with custom music, intuitive formatting, personalized tilting, and seamless transitions.

Finally, after all the images are edited, they are loaded onto an 8GB USB in full resolution. They’re also uploaded to a cloud storage provider of your choice for easy access later. And during the proofing process before your book prints, you’ll get a digital copy that you can hang onto and access anytime or share.

In a simple four-step process, you’ll work with Lifekive to give one of the most unique, touching gifts the entrepreneur in your life is likely to ever receive. The Lifekive Signature Package is ordinarily $799, but right now, you can get it all for just $559.20 when you use code CMSAVE20 at checkout.

Celebrate Life and Work Memories With This Unique Holiday Gift for Any Entrepreneur, On Sale for Cyber Monday
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Goodbye, Blazers; Hello, ‘Coatigans.’ Women Adjust Attire to Work at Home.

In the Before Times, said Rebecca Rittenberg, a 28-year-old who works in advertising sales for Google in New York, one of her favorite parts about going to the office was “showing up in a funky, cool professional outfit.”

A smart pair of pants, colorful or patterned blouses, blazers, skirts, dresses, heeled boots and designer sneakers were all part of her wardrobe, which she used to express her personality and keep up with her stylish ad world colleagues.

Now, after eight months of working from home, and with Google saying workers won’t have to return in person until next summer at the earliest, a big swath of that apparel has been donated and replaced. Ms. Rittenberg’s new definition of “work clothes” includes cashmere cardigans and joggers, headbands, and other cozy garments that fall somewhere in the “healthy in-between” of pajamas and blazers.

“I looked at my stuff I used to wear to the office all the time and thought, ‘When am I ever going to touch this again?’” she said. “Our mind-sets have shifted a bit with this pandemic and the fact that we’ve all been working from home for so long. Once we are back in the office, which I do think will happen, it just seems like a pretty extreme jump to go back to wearing a blazer and pencil skirt and heels again.”

Bloomingdale’s has watched customers increasingly seek out cashmere, flat shoes, pants with elastic waistbands and other comfy apparel, while brands like Theory have rushed to add more casual clothing to their lines, said Denise Magid, an executive vice president at Bloomingdale’s who oversees ready-to-wear apparel.

“Regardless of when people go back to the office, I think people have grown comfortable with what they’re wearing,” Ms. Magid said. “I just can’t see people giving away the feeling of comfort.”

The retail landscape is changing with the new needs of the remote worker. Bankruptcies this year included Brooks Brothers and the owner of Ann Taylor and Loft. Rent the Runway closed all of its stores and removed its unlimited subscription option. In Gap Inc.’s latest quarter, net sales soared 15 percent at Old Navy and 35 percent at Athleta while plummeting 34 percent at Banana Republic.

Gap named a new head of Banana Republic last week and said on an earnings call that the brand had been “working hard to update its product assortment” for an era of remote work, favoring more casual clothes over tailored garments and suiting.

Professional women have long been a lucrative market. Retailers see them as customers who tend to have money

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Guest editorial: Much work to be done despite record number of women in Congress | Opinions and Editorials

Women have a lot to celebrate this election season. The most obvious reason, of course, is the elevation and historic rise of California Sen. Kamala Harris to vice president-elect – the first women and Black individual (and person of Indian and Jamaican descent, we might add) to serve in the country’s second-highest position. Women reached many other milestones down the ballot as well. In fact, glass ceilings were shattered around the country as the election has brought more women to Congress than ever before.

Women are so far expected to take 141 seats in the U.S. House and Senate, breaking the 2019 record, when 127 women served, according to the Center for American Women and Politics at the Rutgers Eagleton Institute of Politics. Among those are at least 50 women of color, surpassing the previous record of 48 set in 2019. Federal policies long shaped by men will get the input of women like never before, realizing the dreams of Susan B. Anthony, Shirley Chisholm and a long list of others who have long fought for better gender representation.

The milestones made by women in politics were both collective and individual as several became “firsts” in their hometowns and states. Democrat Cori Bush became the first Black women to represent Missouri in Congress. New Mexico is the first state to elect all women of color to the U.S. House: Democrats Deb Haaland and Teresa Leger Fernandez and Republican Yvette Herrell. Marilyn Strickland, who is biracial, is the first Korean American women to be elected to Congress and the first Black woman to represent Washington state. Republican Stephanie Bice of Oklahoma will be the first Iranian American to serve in Congress. Women were also elevated to many state levels positions, including Delaware Democrat Sarah McBride who became the country’s first transgender state senator.

More women will lead the executive branches of state governments, too. In total, 94 women will serve as governor or lieutenant governor, surpassing the past record of 91.

Even with these too-long-in-the-making breakthroughs, the country is far from gender equity in politics. More woman than ever still means that women make up just around 26% of all congressional members, despite making up about 51% of the population. Men, who number 394 in Congress to women’s 141, still dominate. And that is to our entire country’s shame and detriment. The Congress should represent its constituents; it’s very simple.

It should be noted that the growth in women’s representation was driven in large part by the election of female Republicans, many of whom helped to turn blue states red, including Cuban American journalist Maria Elvira Salazar, who defeated President Bill Clinton’s former health secretary Rep. Donna Shalala in Florida. Yet women in the Republican Party are still woefully underrepresented, overall. This too, must change. Women are not a monolithic voting bloc and, while they will frequently bring some commonalities to issues, such as the experience of being moms and daughters, they will still offer different perspectives to the political debate

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UConn women report one additional positive COVID-19 case; players can work out again in small groups

The UConn women’s basketball team has been cleared to begin working out in small groups again following its COVID-19 shutdown, a team spokesperson said Saturday.

All 11 players have been in a 14-day quarantine since a Tier 1 member of the program — not a player or a coach — tested positive for the coronavirus on Monday.

Additional testing this week also revealed another positive test within the program, though, following contact tracing, the timeline for the quarantine remains unchanged, as does the game schedule. The individual who tested positive was not identified.

Players were tested again Wednesday and Friday, with all results coming back negative.

The third-ranked Huskies have already had to cancel their first three nonconference games and postpone their Big East opener at Seton Hall. The Seton Hall game has been rescheduled from Dec. 6 to Dec. 17.

Because of the quarantine, the earliest the Huskies can resume full-team workouts is Dec. 8. Their first regular-season game is scheduled for a week later — Butler at Gampel Pavilion on Dec. 15.

[email protected]; @DougBonjour

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20 truly useful work from home gifts

(CNN) —  

Chances are, there’s someone on your holiday shopping list who works from home. And while the season for giving may look a bit different this year, there are still plenty of practical, thoughtful and exciting gifts that any remote worker will enjoy (and find particularly useful).

Aside from the obvious work-from-home essentials like a laptop or computer, there are lots of home, kitchen, decor, tech and fashion items that make for the perfect presents. Not sure where to start? We’ve picked out 28 of the coolest and most useful gifts that are sure to make your loved one’s working-from-home experience more comfortable, organized and efficient.

And if you’re looking for more gift ideas, check out our roundups for the best gifts for her, gifts for him, Nordstrom gifts, 5-star Amazon gifts, yummy food gifts and gifts for everyone else.

Hamilton Beach Breakfast Sandwich Maker

Hamilton Beach Breakfast Sandwich Maker


This quick and easy-to-use sandwich maker will have a delicious breakfast sandwich ready in minutes so they can start their workday off fueled in the best way possible.

TIJN Blue-Light Blocking Glasses

TIJN Blue-Light Blocking Glasses


Though there’s no scientific proof that blue light is hurting our eyes, plenty of people like to wear blue-light blocking glasses anyway, saying that they feel like they help relieve headaches from staring at screens for too long. These are quite cute.

KikiAndNim Home Office Art

KikiAndNim Home Office Art


They can spruce up their home office with a cute and quirky piece of wall art.

Baleaf Cotton Joggers with Pockets

Baleaf Cotton Joggers with Pockets


These No. 1 bestselling joggers have garnered nearly 4,000 5-star customer reviews thanks to how soft and comfortable they are, which makes them the ultimate work-from-home pants.

Ember Temperature Control Smart Mug 2

Ember Temperature Control Smart Mug 2


They’ll be able to keep their morning brew perfectly hot for hours thanks to this app-controlled smart mug from Ember.

Golden Ratio 7-Pack Chai Spiced Gold Coffee Pouches

Golden Ratio 7-Pack Chai Spiced Gold Coffee Pouches

Golden Ratio

The perfect gift to go with the aforementioned Ember smart mug? These easy-to-brew coffee pouches, which are delicious, smooth and rich in flavor. Choose from variations including chai spice, chocolate mint, pumpkin spice and more. Check out our review of Golden Ratio here.

Alera Elusion Series Mesh Mid-Back Multifunction Chair

Alera Elusion Series Mesh Mid-Back Multifunction Chair


An editor-favorite ergonomic mesh task chair will make sitting behind any desk infinitely more comfortable thanks to its adjustability, lumbar support and cushioned seat. This one was also named the best budget buy in our best office chairs of 2020 test.

Purple Ultimate Seat Cushion

Purple Ultimate Seat Cushion


And no matter where they’re stationed in their home, the Purple Ultimate Seat Cushion will make it feel like they’re sitting on a cloud. Its contoured groove helps to encourage proper posture while air channels help to keep the seat cool.

Saiji Adjustable Laptop Desk

Saiji Adjustable Laptop Desk


If they’re working from somewhere other than a home office desk, this adjustable laptop desk is lightweight yet sturdy, portable and perfect for saving space.

Barefoot Dreams CozyChic Unisex Robe

Barefoot Dreams CozyChic Unisex Robe


Give the gift

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Work From Home Revolution Is a Surprise Boon for India’s Women

(Bloomberg) — The coronavirus pandemic has hit women worldwide with job losses and closures of childcare centers. Yet a surprising bright spot is emerging: India’s $200 billion technology services industry, where new rules are expected to provide female workers with a broad swath of flexible work arrangements and fresh employment opportunities.


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On the outskirts of New Delhi, Teena Likhari, 45, quit her job running operations for the Indian back office of a Silicon Valley company in 2018 because of a family medical emergency. Looking to rejoin this year, she expected a market stunted by lockdowns. Instead, the pandemic had made work-from-home mainstream in her industry, which had long shunned the practice.

Not only did the operations manager quickly land a job with Indian outsourcer WNS Global Services, but working from her home in the city of Gurgaon, she began overseeing a 100-member team in the city of Pune about 900 miles away.

a person sitting at a table using a laptop: Unemployed Mom Now Leads 100-Person Team as Covid Changes India

© Bloomberg
Unemployed Mom Now Leads 100-Person Team as Covid Changes India

Teena Likhari working at home in Gurgaon last Friday.

Photographer: Anindito Mukherjee/Bloomberg

Likhari is one of the early beneficiaries of India’s decision to lift decades-old restrictions on remote work in back office firms because of the pandemic. The tech services industry — one of the country’s most important financially — can now allow employees to shift from traditional offices to work-from-anywhere arrangements, permanently if needed. Indian women, who have often had to sacrifice for their husbands’ careers or other commitments at home, have much to gain from the policy change.

“Even a year ago, an operations leader working remotely would’ve been unimaginable,” said Likhari, who has seen scores of women quit work after childbirth, marriage or when a family member fell ill. “The change will allow so many career women like me to do what we do from home, it’s a game changer.”

India’s large numbers of English-speaking graduates and cheaper costs relative to the West have spawned a sprawling industry that’s often called the world’s back office because of its global reach. The broad outsourcing sector, which includes technology services in addition to business processes, employs about 4.5 million people. Foreign banks from Deutsche Bank AG to Barclays Plc run wholly owned centers handling everything from global payrolls to technology infrastructure maintenance for themselves and customers. Local outsourcers Tata Consultancy Services Ltd. and WNS offer everything from data analytics to support on financial and accounting processes to international clients.

The pandemic has changed workplaces globally but the new norms are particularly significant in India. Social conventions that required women to move to their husband’s locations or stay with family in small towns, or simply be available inside the home to care for elders and children have shut out millions of qualified female workers. Greater flexibility and the opportunity to work from anywhere would give them choices they’ve never had before.

Also, India’s old rules – originally designed to prevent misuse of leased telecom lines – had prevented permanent work from home arrangements in

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Phoenix fashion designer is ‘putting in the work’ and her clothes are getting noticed

Amanda Litzinger’s clothing line, Stickybaby, went viral when model Bella Hadid rocked the label’s signature heartbreak patches in Paris.

a person sitting on a bed: Amanda Litzinger, owner of Stickybaby clothing line.

© Courtesy Foot Locker
Amanda Litzinger, owner of Stickybaby clothing line.

Now the Brooklyn-based designer is temporarily back in her home town of Phoenix working with Foot Locker on a new collection.

Litzinger was recently selected as one of three designers highlighted by Foot Locker for its “Behind Her Label” initiative. “Behind Her Label” is a national platform that aims to empower the next generation of female designers and close the gender pay gap in streetwear.

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“Being a designer has been my aspiration for as long as I can remember,” Litzinger said.

“I started a hairbow line in high school and I was always making dresses for the formal dances and just sewing up a storm learning as much as I could.”

More fashion: 7 Phoenix fashion designers you should know

Litzinger, a graduate of Corona Del Sol high school in Tempe, launched her clothing line on Etsy in 2012. Stickybaby is a vintage repurposed and made-to-order clothing line that emphasizes the importance of low-impact production and sustainability in fashion.

How Foot Locker got involved

Bella Hadid et al. standing in a parking lot: Bella Hadid wearing jeans and a hoodie from Phoenix designer Amanda Litzinger's Stickybaby collection in 2017.

© Marc Piasecki/Getty Images
Bella Hadid wearing jeans and a hoodie from Phoenix designer Amanda Litzinger’s Stickybaby collection in 2017.

“Foot Locker created ‘Behind Her Label’ in an effort to close the gender gap between male and female designers in streetwear by providing an elevated platform and the global reach of Foot Locker to grow their emerging brands,” Foot Locker Women’s director of marketing Alexis Stoll-Scigliano, said in a press release.

“We are excited to shine a light on three extremely talented designers to launch this program, creating exclusive products that will ultimately drive sales for each designer to grow and reinvest into her respective brand.”

Foot Locker worked with each designer to create an exclusive capsule collection influenced by their love of streetwear culture. Litzinger’s Foot Locker collection features large print words that make a statement like “Have a Heart,” and “Feel” stitched onto t-shirts and hoodies.

Litzinger’s clothes are inspired by the current moment

“I’m kind of like a quiet person so my clothes, I feel like I prefer to let that speak for me,” Litzinger said.

“I was working on those pieces over the summer when the Black Lives Matter movement was very prevalent and I was very inspired by the professional athletes using their jerseys or their warm-ups to voice their response.”

Litzinger joins two other women of color on the platform including, Shana Sadeghi-Ray, a multidisciplinary artist and Olivia Anthony, CEO of LIVSTREETWEAR.

“We don’t see a lot of representation of people like us,” Litzinger said.

“So for me, I was like, ‘finally this is happening’ because other girls and women want to see us and then they might think ‘Oh, I can do that’ or ‘I should keep going and keep putting in the

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