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


The post-pandemic talent crunch is challenging and isn’t ending anytime soon. Increasing the participation of women in the workforce is one of the key solutions to this challenge, but barriers remain. 

In the U.S., equality in the participation rate between women and men would add almost eight million employees to the workforce, according to a new report released on Thursday by global investment firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. L.P. (KKR). However, the cost of childcare in the U.S. “is currently a major headwind that will likely require a major overhaul,” the report on macroeconomic trends finds.

Fortune’s Megan Leonhardt looks into this issue. “Millions of Americans—mostly women—grapple with the financial breaking point of childcare,” Leonhardt writes in a new report. “Around 4.5 million Americans remained unemployed in January because they were caring for children not in school or daycare.” And as of January, “There were 217,000 fewer women in the labor force than in February 2020,” she writes. 

Leonhardt spoke with women who’ve decided to drop out of the workforce rather than put more than 25% of their paycheck toward the cost of care. For example, Jennifer Parks worked in pharmaceutical manufacturing until the birth of her oldest seven years ago. Parks left the workforce because she couldn’t find affordable childcare. “When we started running the numbers, there was basically no way that we could really cut childcare that made it cost under $100,000,” she told Leonhardt. (You can read the complete report here.)

A recent World Economic Forum report explains how the pandemic negatively impacted women much more than men: “While women constituted approximately 39% of the global workforce, they suffered 54% of the job losses. The report suggests that employers “look at increasing childcare subsidies and expanding childcare coverage to all parents with children up to the age of 18.”

Over the next 10 years, labor issues will be more of a concern than inflation or supply chains and cost inputs, predicts Henry McVey, chief investment officer of KKR’s Balance Sheet, and author of the report. “Worker tenure and rate of 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 childcare subsidy.

Quick note: Following the release of CFO Daily’s Guide to Becoming a CFO last week, I’ve heard from some readers who wanted recommendations for books on leadership. Is there a book that deeply resonated with you on your career journey? Let me know. I’ll compile a list and share it.

Have a great weekend. See you on Monday.

Sheryl Estrada
[email protected]

Big deal

Cybersecurity remains a top concern. Just over a third (34.5%) of executives surveyed by the Deloitte Center for Controllership said that accounting and financial data at their companies were targeted in a cyber event. Within that group, 22% experienced at least one such cyber event, 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 year ahead, the report found.

Courtesy of Deloitte

Going deeper

The new Bing is out. A Microsoft exec weighs in on how it will make money by Jessica Mathews 

How private equity whiz Weijian Shan went from penniless in the Gobi desert to orchestrating a takeover of one of China’s biggest banks by Shawn Tully 

Middle managers are so burned out that nearly half want to quit within the next year by Will Daniel

The 4 best diets for healthy aging that experts say will keep your brain sharp and your body healthy by Jodi Helmer


Michael Wolcott, VP of finance, was promoted to SVP of finance and CFO at Seneca Foods Corporation (Nasdaq: SENEA), effective April 1. Wolcott will succeed the company’s current CFO, Tim Benjamin, who will retire, effective March 31. Benjamin will remain with the company until June 30 to support the transition. Wolcott rejoined the company in July 2022 as VP of finance after earning his MBA. Before that, he held various finance and operations positions within Seneca during his six-year tenure. Before working at Seneca, he spent two years in the financial services industry at Barclays PLC in New York.

Tina Hultkvist, CFO at Volvo Group, is resigning from her role, effective immediately. Hultkvist has served as CFO since March 2022 and has 25 years of experience at Volvo Group. Jan Ytterberg, previously Volvo Group CFO and currently in the role of Volvo Group senior advisor, will step in as acting CFO.  Volvo Group has begun the recruiting process for a successor.

Dennis L. Laraway was named CFO at the Cleveland Clinic, a health system, effective March 13. Since 2017, Laraway has served as EVP and CFO at Banner Health, a health system based in Phoenix that operates in 32 hospitals. 

Leigh Burnside was named CFO at Little Caesars, a global family-owned pizza chain. Burnside joins Little Caesars with 30 years of experience in the accounting and finance industry. Most recently, she served as SVP, chief accounting officer, and CFO U.S. at The Wendy’s Company. Burnside will replace outgoing CFO Darrell Snygg, who recently retired after 34 years at the company. 

Christopher Neczypor was named EVP and CFO at Lincoln Financial Group (NYSE: LNC), effective Feb. 17. Neczypor, who currently serves as EVP, chief strategy officer, will succeed Randal Freitag, who is leaving the company. Neczypor joined Lincoln Financial in 2018 as head of investment risk and strategy. He was named chief strategy officer in 2021. 

Jason Godley was named CFO at Xactly, a provider of cloud-based, incentive compensation software. Godley most recently served as president and CFO at Booster and previously served as the CFO of both IO Data Centers (acquired by Iron Mountain) and Fastaff Travel Nursing. 

Teri Gendron was named CFO at 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 CFO of Jefferies Financial Group Inc.

Darlyn Phillips was named CFO at Invariant, a bipartisan government relations and communications firm. Phillips joins Invariant from Next Fifteen Communications Group plc, where she served as CFO and head of operations for the portfolio brand Outcast. 


“The economy right now is as hard to read as any time that I can remember in the 40 years I’ve been following it.”

—Larry Summers, former U.S. Treasury secretary, told Boston’s NPR news station, WBUR, on Wednesday. “I still think the risks are very large that we either don’t get inflation down durably or the economy tips into recession,” Summers said. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said last week that the latest data is indicative of “disinflation” in some key segments of the economy, Fortune reported

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