The workforce needs more women. But childcare costs remain a stubborn barrier

The workforce needs more women. But childcare costs remain a stubborn barrier

The post-pandemic talent shortage is tough and not ending anytime soon. Increasing women’s participation in the labor market is one of the main solutions to this challenge, but obstacles remain.

In the United States, equal participation rates between women and men would add nearly eight million employees to the labor force, according to a new report released Thursday by global investment firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. LP (KKR). However, the cost of child care in the United States “is currently a major headwind that will likely require major overhaul,” according to the Macro Trends report.

Fortune’s Megan Leonhardt looks into this question. “Millions of Americans — mostly women — are struggling with the financial breaking point of child care,” Leonhardt writes in a new report. “Around 4.5 million Americans remained unemployed in January because they were caring for children who weren’t in school or daycare. And in January, “there were 217,000 fewer women in the labor force than in February 2020,” she writes.

Leonhardt spoke with women who have decided to leave the workforce rather than spend more than 25% of their salary on the cost of care. For example, Jennifer Parks worked in the pharmaceutical industry until her eldest child was born seven years ago. Parks left the workforce because she couldn’t find affordable daycare. “When we started crunching the numbers, there was virtually no way to cut child care costs that cost less than $100,000,” she told Leonhardt. (You can read the full report here.)

A recent report by the World Economic Forum explains how the pandemic has had a far greater negative impact on women than on men: “While women made up around 39% of the global workforce, they suffered 54% job losses. THE the report suggests that employers “consider increasing childcare subsidies and extending childcare coverage to all parents with children up to age 18”.

Over the next 10 years, labor issues will be more of a concern than inflation or supply chains and input costs, predicts Henry McVey, KKR’s balance sheet investment director, and report author. “Worker seniority and turnover will be important benchmarks for companies to monitor,” McVey says.

Or, here’s an idea: maybe more job offers should come with a health plan, 401(k), and yes, a child care subsidy.

Quick note: Following the release of CFO Daily’s Guide to Becoming a CFO last week I heard from readers who wanted recommendations for leadership books. Is there a book that has made a deep impression on you in your professional career? Let me know. I will compile a list and share it.

Have a good week-end. See you Monday.

Sheryl Estrada

Big deal

Cybersecurity remains a major concern. Just over a third (34.5%) of executives surveyed by the Deloitte Center for Controllership said their company’s accounting and financial data had been targeted during a cyber event. Within this group, 22% experienced at least one such cyber incident and 12.5% ​​experienced more than one. About half (48.8%) of executives expect the number and size of cyber events to increase in the coming year, the report found.

Courtesy of Deloitte

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Michael Wolcottvice president of finance, was promoted to senior vice president of finance and chief financial officer at Seneca Foods Corporation (Nasdaq: SENEA), beginning April 1. Wolcott will succeed the company’s current chief financial officer, Tim Benjamin, who will retire effective March 31. Benjamin will remain with the company until June 30 to support the transition. Wolcott joined the company in July 2022 as Vice President of Finance after earning his MBA. Previously, he held various positions in finance and operations with Seneca during his six-year tenure. Prior to joining Seneca, he spent two years in the financial services industry at Barclays PLC in New York.

From Hultkvistfinancial director at Volvo Group, resigns from office, with immediate effect. Hultkvist has been Chief Financial Officer since March 2022 and has 25 years of experience with the Volvo Group. Jan Ytterberg, previously Volvo Group CFO and currently Volvo Group Senior Advisor, will take over as interim CFO. The Volvo Group has started the process of recruiting a successor.

Dennis L. Laraway was appointed CFO at Cleveland Clinica health system, starting March 13. Since 2017, Laraway has served as executive vice president and chief financial officer of Banner Health, a Phoenix-based health system that operates in 32 hospitals.

Leigh Burnside was appointed Chief Financial Officer of Little Caesars, a global family pizza chain. Burnside comes to Little Caesars with 30 years of experience in the accounting and finance industry. Most recently, she served as SVP, Chief Accounting Officer and US CFO at The Wendy’s Company. Burnside will replace outgoing chief financial officer Darrell Snygg, who recently retired after 34 years with the company.

Christophe Neczypor was appointed EVP and CFO at Lincoln Financial Group (NYSE: LNC), beginning Feb. 17. Neczypor, who currently serves as executive vice president, chief strategy officer, will succeed Randal Freitag, who is leaving the company. Neczypor joined Lincoln Financial in 2018 as Head of Risk and Investment Strategy. He was appointed Chief Strategy Officer in 2021.

Jason Godley was appointed Chief Financial Officer of Exactly, a cloud-based incentive compensation software provider. Godley most recently served as President and CFO at Booster and previously served as CFO of IO Data Centers (acquired by Iron Mountain) and Fastaff Travel Nursing.

Teri Gendron was appointed Chief Financial Officer of Markel Corporation (NYSE: MKL), a financial holding company, effective March 20, succeeding Jeremy Noble, who became president of Markel’s insurance operations earlier this year. Most recently, Gendron was Chief Financial Officer of Jefferies Financial Group Inc.

Darlyn Phillips was appointed Chief Financial Officer of Invariant, a bipartisan government relations and communications firm. Phillips joins Invariant from Next Fifteen Communications Group plc, where she served as Chief Financial Officer and Head of Operations for the Outcast portfolio brand.


“The current economy is as difficult to read as any time I can remember in the 40 years I have followed it.”

—Larry Summers, former US Treasury Secretary, told the Boston NPR news station, WBUR, Wednesday. “I still think the risks are very large that we don’t bring inflation down sustainably or that the economy tips into recession,” Summers said. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said last week that the latest data indicates “disinflation» in certain key segments of the economy, Fortune reported.

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