The pandemic is creating an ambition gap among working women

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Good morning, Broadsheet readers! AMD makes a major acquisition, the Justice Department won’t represent Trump against E. Jean Carroll, and the pandemic may be creating an ambition gap. Have a reflective Wednesday.

– Lose some, win some. We have some good news and some bad news from the world of professional women this morning.

Let’s start by ripping off the bad news band-aid. We know the fallout from the pandemic is wreaking havoc on women and their careers. Now, a steady drumbeat of research is emerging to help us take stock of the damage. The latest is a new study from Deloitte that debuted this morning. It finds that a full 70% of the women who say the pandemic has negatively impacted their lives (I would love to meet the ones who said it hasn’t!) are particularly concerned about their ability to continue to progress at work.

For the vast majority of the nearly 400 women who responded to Deloitte’s survey, it’s not that they don’t expect to have opportunities to advance. But as home responsibilities (chores, caregiving, remote school) mount, 60% said they’re questioning whether they want to progress, given what they believe they will need to accomplish in order to move up. One big factor: Almost half said they feel the pressure to constantly be available for work.

So, while we’re been focused—for good reason—on the women who feel that the pandemic is forcing them to choose between their jobs and their families, we should not lose sight of this additional threat: that many women will stay in the workforce but stagnate, sacrificing their ambition at the altar of COVID-19.

That was cheery! Okay, on to some more positive news. Tapestry, parent of Coach, Kate Spade, and Stuart Weitzman, has made it official with interim chief exec Joanne Crevoiserat, naming her CEO, effective immediately.

Tapestry is on the Fortune 500, but Crevoiserat’s appointment won’t change the total of female CEOs in that cohort—it stands at 37—since we include interim CEOs in our count. That said, it should be noted that the interim job is in no way a guarantee of scoring a permanent seat in the corner office, so while we don’t get to add a fresh hash mark to the tally, her achievement is progress nonetheless.

Kristen Bellstrom

Today’s Broadsheet was curated by Emma Hinchliffe

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