The Dallas Morning News reports that PepsiCo and its Frito-Lay subsidiary are partnering with a new coalition that "hopes to reverse the pandemic’s unequal impact on working moms and put hundreds back into the workforce over the next three years."
According to the story, the coalition - which includes nonprofits United Way of Metropolitan Dallas and CitySquare and Dallas College - will endeavor "to train women in the skills necessary for jobs in hospitality, sales, marketing, manufacturing and logistics. They’ll also provide social services like housing assistance and child care … The program aims to train as many as 550 women in southern Dallas as part of the Southern Dallas Thrives initiative first announced in 2018."
The News notes that "women were pushed out of the workforce at a higher rate than men over the course of 2020, accounting for considerably more than half of the jobs lost. Government restrictions, closed schools and fear of catching COVID-19 kept kids at home and renewed calls for enhanced investment in child care to keep women in jobs."
PepsiCo's director of government affairs, Rebecca Acuna, tells the Times, “We see this investment as an investment in our community. We’ve also seen that when women thrive, families thrive."
- KC's View:
A worthwhile initiative, and one that I hope that can find life in other parts of the country as well.
That said, we have a long way to go.
Axios has a story about the World Economic Forum's Global Gender Gap Report for 2021, which concludes that "it will take women in North America approximately 61.5 years to have economic parity with men." That's longer than Western Europe (52.1 years), but at least better than East Asia and the Pacific (165 years) and South Asia (195.4 years!).
The report says that there only has been "marginal improvement" in terms of women moving into senior management roles, and points out that in the US on average, women's income is just 65.4 percent of men's income.
Sure, there's been some movement; the report says that "the U.S. has closed 76.3% of its gender gap and now ranks 30th in the world on women's issues, an improvement of 23 spots from last year." But much-cited American exceptionalism apparently does not extend to gender parity and equality.
All of which is a long way to get back to the original point - that the PepsiCo-backed Texas initiative is a good thing to do, but it is just addresses one specific problem that exists in an ocean of serious issues.