“Who I was at that time was a breastfeeding mother of a 4 month old, I didn’t have a babysitter, so I took Sasha to the interview with me. And I thought, ‘Look, this is–this is who I am; I got a husband who’s away; I got two little babies, they are my priority. If you want me to do the job, you gotta pay me to do the job, and you’ve gotta give me flexibility.” ~ Michelle Obama
On Monday the White House hosted a summit in Washington, D.C., meant to shift the discussion around work and families from one about individual needs to one about the economy. We’re thrilled at Maybrooks to see the conversation moving in this direction (and have been making this case since we opened our doors).
Paid maternity leave, access to affordable childcare and workplace flexibility were among the needs — “not frills” — discussed at the summit, which included the President and Michelle Obama, Nancy Pelosi, Gloria Steinem, Anne-Marie Slaughter and more. We had many friends there, including Diana Rothschild of NextKids, Sabrina Parsons of Palo Alto Software (@mommyceo), and the women from Working Mother Magazine.
In advance of the summit, The White House Council of Economic Advisers released this list of “nine important facts about American families and work which together illustrate the changes that are needed to ensure our long-term economic growth, maintain our economic competitiveness, improve the well-being of Americans, and make full use of all of America’s talent.” Hear, hear!
1. Mothers are increasingly the household breadwinners.
2. Fathers are increasingly family caregivers.
3. Women make up nearly half of today’s labor force.
4. Women are increasingly among our most skilled workers, attaining the majority of
college degrees, and deepening their work experiences.
5. Most children live in households where all parents work.
6. Caregiving doesn’t end when the children are grown: eldercare is a growing
responsibility of workers.
7. Men and women alike face challenges as they try to balance work and family.
8. Many workplaces have not kept up with the needs of 21st
century workers and families.
9. Providing workplace flexibility and paid leave strengthens families, businesses, and our economy.