132 Major Things That Happened in the World of Work This Year

132 Major Things That Happened in the World of Work This Year

We’re suckers for end-of-year recaps. As much as we’d love to do a deep-dive into the most heartbreaking celebrity breakups of 2023 (still not over Jodie Turner-Smith and Joshua Jackson) or the wildest scandals of 2023 (yup, #Scandoval was this year), our specialty is work. There were a lot of milestone moments that happened this year in the world of work—from FTX founder and CEO  Sam Bankman-Fried getting arrested and thrown in jail to the rise of lazy girl jobs and Bare Minimum Mondays. Shall we go on a lil’ trip down memory lane? Introducing… the 2023 work rewind.


Shopify enacts their “say no meetings” policy, sparking an anti-meeting wave in corporate America.

For the first time since 2009, 26 states raise their minimum wage.

Lucky girl syndrome takes TikTok by storm.

Amazon lays off 18,000 workers, the largest job cut in the company's history.

JP Morgan sues Charlie Javice, the founder of Frank, a college financial aid company that’s since been shut down, for using millions of fake customers. She will go to trial in 2024.

FTX founder and CEO Sam Bankman-Fried gets arrested in the Bahamas.

Bernard Arnault, the CEO of LVMH (the world's largest luxury goods company), appoints his daughter, Delphine, to run Christian Dior Couture. And the Success-style family drama ensues.

Dragon Den's Michele Romanow steps down as the CEO of e-comm business Clearco as they lay off 25 percent of the staff. Listen to our Girlboss Radio podcast episode with her here.

Missouri's House of Representatives tightens the dress code for their women lawmakers, telling them to wear dresses, skirts or slacks with a blazer or sweater. It had rules about men's clothing. Hmmm… interesting.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announces her resignation.

Tarte hosts a flashy, opulent influencer brand trip to Dubai, which had people asking: Genius marketing campaign or out-of-touch extravaganza amid a cost-of-living crisis?

The rise of deinfluencing begins.

Rage applying becomes the hot new workplace term.


We find out that Gen Z doesn’t feel imposter syndrome, apparently. They’re also dubbed “Generation Quit” for not being afraid to leave a job that doesn’t suit them.

No, you’re not imagining it. Everyone has a manager title now. Inflation comes for our job titles.

AI is infiltrating every aspect of the hiring process—from reading job applications to conducting job interviews and even writing your cover letters for you.

We’re finally talking about how weird “work wives” and “work husbands” are.

Spain approves "period pain" law allowing women to take medical leave.

The tech industry gets called out for having a toxic productivity problem.

Introducing: Bare Minimum Mondays, your excuse to start the week off doing f*ck all.


Burned out workers give up full-time jobs for part-time jobs, and turn to sabbaticals instead of vacations as a cure. 

Spain's government seeks to pass a law that would require all corporate boards to be 40% women. Fingers crossed it passes in 2024!

Gen Z faces workplace tech shame because they don’t know how to use a printer.

The golden era of the celebrity beauty brand is officially over.

The afternoon fun economy allows remote workers to get their hair done and play golf at 3 p.m. on a workday.

Chief, the only private membership network for women, gets outed for being exclusionary against women of color. *Pretends to be shocked.*

Employers are starting to ditch the four-year college degree requirement on their job applications.

Goodbye, happy hours! Workplace drinking culture may soon be a thing of the past.

Another TikTok productivity hack? Adding a “scary hour” to your workday a.k.a. do your hardest, most daunting task first.

South Korea promises a 69-hour workweek.

The hot new job on the market: AI whispers… (and they’d get a cool $335,000 salary). 


L’Oréal buys Aēsop in a $2.5 billion deal.

We’re working more on the weekends to make up for our flexible schedules during the week.

Taylor Swift and Beyoncé are both vying to have the first $1 billion world tour.

Employee influencers who vlog about their days working at [insert buzzy company here] are all the rage.

MillerKnoll CEO Andi Owen goes viral for telling her staff to stop asking for bonuses: “Leave Pity City!”

From cleaning products to boozy brands, celebrity side hustles are popping off.

Remote work kills the power lunch. *Sigh* we miss it.

Women CEOs finally outnumber those named John. Sorry, but this isn’t a flex.

Things we need to cancel? Free labor during the job application process.


Forget about the four-day work week. Why aren’t we talking about the six-hour work day?

Major layoffs at Buzzfeed, Paper and VICE put a strain on the publishing industry.

Jenny Craig, the diet and weight loss company, shuts down.

Michelle Obama launches a healthy food and beverage company for kids, PLEZi Nutrition.

The New York Times publishes a profile on Elizabeth Holmes, the founder of failed blood-testing start-up Theranos. It attempts to paint her only as a “devoted mother” instead of a convicted fraudster who is about to go to jail for 11 years. Major criticism ensues.

American worker productivity is declining at the fastest rate in 75 years—and WFH is to blame.

R.I.P. MTV News.

Goldman Sachs pays $215 million to settle a decade-long gender bias lawsuit.

Gmail comes out with an I that can write your emails for you.

Elon Musk hires Linda Yaccarino, a former NBCUniversal advertising executive, to be the new CEO of Twitter.

Forget the Great Resignation—we’re entering the Big Stay, where job hopping cools off.

Martha Stewart makes history on the cover of Sports Illustrated.

The Kelly Clarkson Show is toxic behind-the-scenes, according to 11 current and former employees.

The Writers Guild of America (which represents most writers in Hollywood) goes on strike.

Elizabeth Holmes goes to prison.

Beyoncé teases the launch of her not-yet-released haircare line.

Bo Young Lee, the head of diversity, equity and inclusion at Uber, goes on leave after she moderated a “Don’t Call Me Karen” workplace event which explored the experience of white American women.

Fake German heiress Anna “Delvey” Sorokin launches two new side hustles—a weekly podcast series and a debut single—during her house arrest.


“Work from anywhere” weeks in the summer are a peace offering during corporate America’s return to office push.

Martha Stewart thinks everyone should stop working from home. Um, don’t you WFH, Martha?

Fortune publishes a scathing takedown of Lora DiCarlo and her once-promising feminist sex toy company. Eight former employees spoke up about the toxic work environment, allegations of sexism and sexual harassment, financial mismanagement and poor product development.

The “likability paradox” is the latest way that gender bias is rearing its ugly head at work.

The Equal Pay Act turns 60 recently and pay equity may not be achieved until 2056. The patriarchy strikes again…

Anna Wintour is reportedly on the hunt for a new assistant. The Devil Wears Prada, who?

Rihanna steps down as the CEO of Savage X Fenty.

The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, a new federal law protecting the rights of pregnant workers, goes into effect.

We talk about the "financial independence, retire early," or FIRE movement—and why it’s overrated.

Are internships (especially the unpaid ones) passé? There are less opportunities these days and more opportunity-thirsty new-grads. You do the math.


The Supreme Court strikes down affirmative action (a policy that works to eliminate unlawful discrimination and increase opportunities for underrepresented people) in college admissions at Harvard University and the University of North Carolina. This decision is a huge blow to diversity efforts in higher education—and corporate America.

Wimbledon ditches their all-white dress code to ease the stress of women’s periods.

Barbie becomes a sponsorship powerhouse, dominating feeds and infiltrating product categories from food to fashion to gaming. Their marketing team deserves a raise.

Quiet quitting doesn't work—just as the Gen Z-er, Zaid Khan, who popularized it.

Introducing: Lazy girl jobs, the low-stress, kinda-mindless jobs that earn you a decent paycheck without burning you out.

Threads, Meta’s latest social media app that rivals Twitter, launches.

A Canadian judge ruled that this emoji (👍) is proof of a contractual agreement.

Elon Musk launches his new company, xAI, and guess what? It’s run by dudes.

SAG-AFTRA—a union representing 160,000 actors—joins the writers of Hollywood and goes on strike.

Business Insider publishes a scathing exposé about Canadian It Girl brand Aritzia, and interviews 53 current and former employees, who recounted horror stories of a toxic work culture, racial discrimination, and exploitation by Brian Hill, Aritzia’s founder and executive chair.

Cher launches her new gelato company, Cherlato.

The latest workplace perk? Divorce benefits.

Twitter becomes X. And we are still grieving.


Business Insider deems that hobbies are dead—because we keep monetizing them.

Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In launches a confidence-building program for young girls.

Three of Lizzo’s former dancers file a lawsuit against the singer, accusing her of sexual harassment and creating a hostile work environment.

Netflix advertises a $900K AI job during the Hollywood strikes. A bit hypocritical, no?

Wedding planning giant The Knot gets exposed for swindling advertisers (including David’s Bridal, Macy’s, Walmart, and Crate and Barrel) lying about revenue and committing financial fraud for years.

Zoom tells employees to return to the office. The WFH revolution really is over.

Toxic resilience is the latest workplace trend that’s, well, toxic.

Rachel Zegler (the actor who plays Snow White in the upcoming live-action remake) gets criticized for explaining that the princess will be dreaming about being a leader—not finding true love—bleh, how anti-feminist.

The menopause economy is booming.

Slack gets a long-overdue makeover.

A recession? Not anymore. And you can thank Taylor Swift, Beyoncé and Barbie. Women have single-handedly boosted the economy this summer.

Parade, the Instagram-famous underwear brand that promised to be the antidote to Victoria’s Secret, gets acquired by clothing manufacturer Ariela & Associates International (the same company that owns Fruit of the Loom). Then, Parade's co-founder and CEO Cami Téllez steps down.

Philadelphia is the one city where people aren’t going back to the office.

The hottest new office is the gym.

Lawmakers in Illinois, New Jersey and Colorado propose new legislation to include promotion transparency a.k.a. requiring employers to give notice of internal job opportunities and promotions.


Wheel of Fortune co-host Vanna White finally gets a raise after 18 years.

Bosses are using employees’ badges to see not only when you come into the office, but how long you stay.

The performance review is dead.

There’s a new satirical workplace thriller in town: The Other Black Girl.

Lyft releases a new feature that pairs women riders to women drivers.

There’s a new kind of family leave at work—for grandparents.

Bosses and workers still can’t agree on whether the commute is part of the work day.

The Victoria's Secret Fashion Show returns—and the results are underwhelming.

Meta unveils new AI assistants that mimic your fave celebrities, like Tom Brady and Kendall Jenner.

After 148 days, striking writers go back to work. 


Birkenstock goes public with an IPO—and it kinda flops.

You can now get your degree in influencer marketing.

A group of men crash a job event (The Grace Hopper Celebration) for women in tech.

Kim Kardashian launches SKKY Partners, her new private equity firm.

Drew Barrymore is under fire for bringing back The Drew Barrymore Show during the WGA strike.

The TikTok girlies are ditching Matilda Djerf and Djerf Avenue over copyright infringement drama.

Companies are so desperate to bring their employees back to the office, the perks are getting even more unhinged. Surf lessons? Pet leave? Ketamine therapy?

Shopify’s CEO Tobias Lütke discourages employees from having side hustles.

Google has to pay former executive Ulku Rowe $1 million for gender bias.

Tens of thousands of women and nonbinary workers walk off the job in Iceland.

The tea-spilling, headline-making celebrity memoir is nothing new. But lately, every celebrity is hopping on this buzzy business venture bandwagon.

Taylor Swift officially achieves billionaire status.

The manager title is losing its shine (for many reasons which we get into, below)—so much so that some workplaces are experimenting with a non-hierarchical structure that gets rid of them altogether.


WeWork files for bankruptcy protection.

Bumble founder and CEO Whitney Wolfe Herd steps down. Former Slack CEO Lidiane Jones takes her place.

Canadian province Ontario is the latest to join the wage transparency movement.

LinkedIn is crowned the coolest social media platform, according to Gen Z.

Sam Bankman-Fried is found guilty on all seven criminal fraud counts and goes to jail.

After 118 days, striking actors go back to work.

G/O Media announced that Jezebel—the voice-y feminist publication—will be shutting down after failing to find a buyer. A few weeks later, Jezebel gets acquired by Paste Magazine and comes back from the dead

Whoopi Goldberg tells Gen Z and millennials that the reason they can’t buy a house is because they “only want to work four hours” a day.

Condé Nast (which owns titles like Vogue, The New Yorker and Vanity Fair) cuts 5% of its workforce (approximately 270 employees). And an ex-Condé Nast employee files a civil lawsuit against the company, saying that he was fired for stealing two bowls of oatmeal that he’d paid for—and it was actually a cover-up for him being terminated when he complained about racial discrimination.

Personality hires, employees better known for their charisma than their ability to crunch numbers, become all the rage on TikTok.

Remote-work weddings are on the rise.

Retire your finstas, Instagram announces Close Friends for your feed.

OpenAI’s CEO Sam Altman gets fired—and 505 employees threaten to quit. Less than a week later, he was rehired.

McDonald’s posts a job for their new social media and influencer director role, and guess what? It didn’t make us fall asleep after the first sentence!

Lululemon gets outed by Business of Fashion for racism, even though they created an internal diversity and inclusion department.

We need to talk about the five-day, 32-hour workweek instead.

Another reason why being a woman in tech is hard? Some men would rather fabricate a fake profile than hire women to speak at the DevTernity conference.


Spotify lays off 17 percent of staff (1,500 employees)—its third round of job cuts this year.

Noncompete agreements are so old school. New York is the latest state to consider nixing the bill.

We’re ditching the office chair in 2024—it’s better for your body to sit on the floor.

In China, workers aren’t quiet quitting. They’re “letting it rot.”

Move over golf courses, nail salons are all the rage for your next business meeting.

The office holiday party looks different this year—no more booze and karaoke. Just bonding on the pickleball court.

End-of-year bonuses are scarce this year, given the current financial climate and all the layoffs happening.

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