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For working parents in the pandemic, a survey finds dads have it easier than moms

A new survey found that working moms were less likely than dads to get promotions and raises and more likely to report that remote work hurt their careers.

WFH

The perks of remote work aren't evenly felt by all, a new survey shows.

Photo: Tom Werner/DigitalVision via Getty Images

Since the COVID-19 pandemic hit, tech companies including Facebook and Twitter have been bullish about remote work, arguing that letting people work from anywhere could open up new opportunities for people who don't live inside the Silicon Valley bubble.

But a new survey by theBoardlist and Qualtrics, shared exclusively with Protocol, shows that the perks of remote work aren't evenly felt by all — especially working moms. According to the data, working moms were more likely than working dads to say working remotely has negatively affected their careers during the pandemic, while working dads were significantly more likely than working moms to say they've recently received a raise, promotion or increase in responsibilities.

The findings, based on a July survey of 1,000 salaried employees who are working or recently furloughed in the United States, align with reports that COVID-19 is prompting the country's first female recession. Women are disproportionately losing their jobs compared to men, and mothers with young children are cutting their hours four to five times more than working dads. While much of that research has focused on how women have had to leave the workforce, theBoardlist's findings illuminate the impact this period has had on parents who are still very much in it.

The survey asked working parents and non-parents how the pandemic affected their productivity. It found that a whopping 77% of men with children at home reported they were more productive while working at home, compared to just 46% of women with children at home.


There were stark differences between the perks, including raises and promotions, that men with children at home received compared to women with children at home.



The dads were significantly more likely than the moms to say they were more productive because they had fewer distractions while working at home. By contrast, the working moms were more likely to say they were less productive because of all of the distractions at home.



Women with children at home also reported more stress during the pandemic than women without children at home: 46% compared to 34%. But despite experiencing more upside working remotely, it was the working dads who reported experiencing the most stress of all. Some 71% of men with children at home reported higher stress levels during the pandemic.

To Shannon Gordon, CEO of theBoardlist, which helps companies find women and underrepresented minorities to serve on their boards, this gap speaks to the fact that women may be more used to dividing their lives between work and child care. "Men are now at home and experiencing that a little bit more," she said. "Like anything new, that can drive additional stress."

Still, while 71% of men said working from home for an extended period would have a positive impact on their careers, only 31% of women said the same.

Curiously, however, working parents of both genders had a far brighter outlook on working from home than people without children at home. More than 68% said that working from home has affected their careers positively; that figure was a slightly lower 57% for working moms. By contrast, 71% of people with no children at home said remote work affected their careers negatively. That may be due to the fact that respondents with no kids at home skewed older, Qualtrics said, and therefore, may have had a tougher time transitioning to remote work.

For theBoardlist, an organization that started with the explicit purpose of getting more women into corporate boardrooms, these stats suggest that as parents take on more responsibility at home in an era of remote work, women will bear the brunt of the consequences. "I recognize the danger of the number of hours we all work correlating with career advancement," Gordon said. "I worry about a widening gap in career advancement between the two genders."

People

Making the economy work for Black entrepreneurs

Funding for Black-owned startups needs to grow. That's just the start.

"There is no quick fix to close the racial wealth and opportunity gaps, but there are many ways companies can help," said Mastercard's Michael Froman.

Photo: DigitalVision/Getty Images

Michael Froman is the vice chairman and president of Strategic Growth for Mastercard.

When Tanya Van Court's daughter shared her 9th birthday wish list — a bike and an investment account — Tanya had a moment of inspiration. She wondered whether helping more kids get excited about saving for goals and learning simple financial principles could help them build a pathway to financial security. With a goal of reaching every kid in America, she founded Goalsetter, a savings and financial literacy app for kids. Last month, Tanya brought in backers including NBA stars Kevin Durant and Chris Paul, raising $3.9 million in seed funding.

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Michael Froman
Michael Froman serves as vice chairman and president, Strategic Growth for Mastercard. He and his team drive inclusive growth efforts and partner across public and private sectors to address major societal and economic issues. From 2013 to 2017, Mike served as the U.S. trade representative, President Barack Obama’s principal adviser and negotiator on international trade and investment issues. He is a distinguished fellow of the Council on Foreign Relations and a member of the board of directors of The Walt Disney Company.
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Building better relationships in the age of all-remote work

How Stripe, Xero and ModSquad work with external partners and customers in Slack channels to build stronger, lasting relationships.

Image: Original by Damian Zaleski

Every business leader knows you can learn the most about your customers and partners by meeting them face-to-face. But in the wake of Covid-19, the kinds of conversations that were taking place over coffee, meals and in company halls are now relegated to video conferences—which can be less effective for nurturing relationships—and email.

Email inboxes, with hard-to-search threads and siloed messages, not only slow down communication but are also an easy target for scammers. Earlier this year, Google reported more than 18 million daily malware and phishing emails related to Covid-19 scams in just one week and more than 240 million daily spam messages.

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Citizen’s plan to keep people safe (and beat COVID-19) with an app

Citizen CEO Andrew Frame talks privacy, safety, coronavirus and the future of the neighborhood watch.

Citizen added COVID-19 tracking to its app over the summer — but its bigger plans got derailed.

Photo: Citizen

Citizen is an app built on the idea that transparency is a good thing. It's the place users — more than 7 million of them, in 28 cities with many more to come soon — can find out when there's a crime, a protest or an incident of any kind nearby. (Just yesterday, it alerted me, along with 17,900 residents of Washington, D.C., that it was about to get very windy. It did indeed get windy.) Users can stream or upload video of what's going on, locals can chat about the latest incidents and everyone's a little safer at the end of the day knowing what's happening in their city.

At least, that's how CEO Andrew Frame sees it. Critics of Citizen say the app is creating hordes of voyeurs, incentivizing people to run into dangerous situations just to grab a video, and encouraging racial profiling and other problematic behaviors all under the guise of whatever "safety" means. They say the app promotes paranoia, alerting users to things that they don't actually need to know about. (That the app was originally called "Vigilante" doesn't help its case.)

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David Pierce

David Pierce ( @pierce) is Protocol's editor at large. Prior to joining Protocol, he was a columnist at The Wall Street Journal, a senior writer with Wired, and deputy editor at The Verge. He owns all the phones.

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Blockchain, QR codes and your phone: the race to build vaccine passports

Digital verification systems could give people the freedom to work and travel. Here's how they could actually happen.

One day, you might not need to carry that physical passport around, either.

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There will come a time, hopefully in the near future, when you'll feel comfortable getting on a plane again. You might even stop at the lounge at the airport, head to the regional office when you land and maybe even see a concert that evening. This seemingly distant reality will depend upon vaccine rollouts continuing on schedule, an open-sourced digital verification system and, amazingly, the blockchain.

Several countries around the world have begun to prepare for what comes after vaccinations. Swaths of the population will be vaccinated before others, but that hasn't stopped industries decimated by the pandemic from pioneering ways to get some people back to work and play. One of the most promising efforts is the idea of a "vaccine passport," which would allow individuals to show proof that they've been vaccinated against COVID-19 in a way that could be verified by businesses to allow them to travel, work or relax in public without a great fear of spreading the virus.

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Mike Murphy ( @mcwm) is the director of special projects at Protocol, focusing on the industries being rapidly upended by technology and the companies disrupting incumbents. Previously, Mike was the technology editor at Quartz, where he frequently wrote on robotics, artificial intelligence, and consumer electronics.

People

Why the CEO of GoFundMe is calling out Congress on coronavirus

GoFundMe has seen millions of Americans asking for help to put food on the table and pay the bills. Tim Cadogan thinks Congress should help fix that.

"They need help with rent. They need help to get food. They need help with basic bills," GoFundMe CEO Tim Cadogan said. "That's what people need help with to get through this period."

Photo: John Lamparski/Getty Images

Tim Cadogan started his first day as CEO of GoFundMe about two weeks before the pandemic wrecked the world. He knew he was joining a company that tried to help people make extra money. He didn't know his company would become a lifeline for millions of Americans who couldn't pay their bills or put food on the table.

And so after a year in which millions of people have asked for help from strangers on GoFundMe, and at least $600 million has been raised (that number could be as much as $1 billion or more now, but GoFundMe didn't provide fundraising data past August) just for coronavirus-related financial crises, Cadogan has had enough. On Thursday, he wrote an open letter to Congress calling for a massive federal aid package aimed at addressing people's fundamental needs. In an unusual call for federal action from a tech CEO, Cadogan wrote that GoFundMe should not and can never replace generous Congressional aid for people who are truly struggling.

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Anna Kramer

Anna Kramer is a reporter at Protocol (@ anna_c_kramer), where she helps write and produce Source Code, Protocol's daily newsletter. Prior to joining the team, she covered tech and small business for the San Francisco Chronicle and privacy for Bloomberg Law. She is a recent graduate of Brown University, where she studied International Relations and Arabic and wrote her senior thesis about surveillance tools and technological development in the Middle East.

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