Women account for all December job losses, billions are repaid in pandemic response loans and a new trading ban causes confusion

Disproportionate unemployment trends: Women accounted for all of the 156,000 U.S. jobs lost in December, highlighting the devastating impact the pandemic has had on working women. The damage has been especially felt by women of color, with those working in retail, restaurants and other “essential” service-sector industries affected most disproportionately. Last month, leisure and hospitality employers cut almost half a million jobs- almost 57% of which were held by women. Meanwhile, over two million women have dropped out of the labor force completely since February, as the burden of childcare and remote learning have led many women to stop working or looking for work. More from Fortune

Partnering for success: Almost every large corporation is experimenting with different forms of innovation and looking for ways to capture new ideas from younger companies to ensure they remain competitive. However, working with start-ups can be a nightmare for a chief financial officer as these research projects rarely look good on a conventional profit-and-loss account. Per The Financial Times, roughly half of start-ups and established corporations end up dissatisfied with their partnerships. Several factors may be to blame including CFOs traditionally having a cost-efficiency mindset or start-ups not having the experience to navigate the systems of a larger company. In this article, consultants suggest ways that CFOs can effectively manage expectations to work successfully with start-up innovators.

Settling debt: Seven of the largest business loans totaling £4.2billion have been repaid to the Bank of England. The Bank of England and the Treasury launched the Covid Corporate Financing Facility loan scheme last March to avoid a cash crunch at large companies, and received criticism for including international firms backed by foreign sponsors. Many smaller loans have also been repaid, with another £12.2billion still outstanding across an additional 49 firms, reports Daily Mail UK.  A probe by The Mail found that shopping centre chain Westfield and UK manufacturer JCB are among the companies who have settled their loans in the last month.

Mixed signals cause trading frustration: An executive order signed by President Trump meant to impact the Chinese military is banning Americans from trading the securities of dozens of Chinese companies. But people who have already invested in these stocks are upset after a confusing series of events occurred over the last two weeks. The Wall Street Journal points to mixed signals sent by the New York Stock Exchange, brokerage firms and U.S. officials indicating exactly which stocks would be prohibited and when they needed to be sold as the cause for the confusion. There are 35 companies on the blacklist including three telecom carriers and an oil-and-gas driller.

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