Family-Friendly Workplace Policies Help Women and Men

Editor’s note: This blog is a series about the discussions that took place during Vision + Action = Equality in Motion on Oct. 11-13 in Chicago. This series is authored by Jan Stone, who volunteered her time and talent to attend 3,000 Days and Counting. Read the first entry here. Part four of this blog, which focuses on Goals 4 and 5, will be posted Oct. 20. Read the first entry here and the second entry here.

By Jan Stone

Pivoting nicely into Vision 2020’s 3rd National Goal Educating employees about the value of gender equality policies and practices — Emmy-winning journalist Maria Hinojosa returned to the stage and announced that for the first time a Latina anchor and producer is creating a documentary on what gender inequality looks like–and she’s looking for help, stories and money.

To demonstrate the significance of men and women sharing family responsibilities to employers, the speakers Bill Glick and Ruth Ann Gillis talked about how work and raising a family went hand-in-hand, and a reel of clips from several television shows and movies, including Modern Family and I Don’t Know How She Does It underscored the reality.

Another family-friendly policy, requisite to achieving goal 3, is the fundamental understanding that the needs of the family as well as the job should be respected. The profound absence of family-friendly work environments is a huge mountain to climb. Glick, the first man on the stage, talks about how the environment is not changing.

To help educate employers about the value of policies and practices that enable men and women to share family responsibilities, the one brave man on stage used the traditional ladder metaphor to show that this model does not provide equity, as women have to take time off to raise children. He encourages a lattice metaphor that allows all to work their way up with various steps available.

Strategies to achieving goal 3 include identifying and communicating measurable best practices through the creation of a national collaborative taskforce. This committee will be tasked with the job of:

  • using early adopters for a start, those already modeling family-friendly best practices
  • creating toolkit that everyone can use to discuss the benefits of family-friendly best practices;
  • implementing a media plan covering all leaders/decision makers.

How does this change the culture? It’s ultimately packaged into a proven model–existing practices. LEED practices, for example, a model building engineers and top executives follow to create an environmentally responsible work environment. Vision 2020 certification will follow that successful model, using robust criteria from existing models  to set up taskforce, determine criteria for different size and types of environments including  government, public, education, and small and big businesses.

These National Delegates aren’t dreamers. They understand educating employers about family-friendly practices won’t happen overnight. But their timeline runs into 2019, when they are confident they’ll have produced enough family-friendly employees to ensure that measurement will show significant growth by 2020.

Once that criteria is established, the goal is to have in 2015 researchers and a body of external stakeholders who, in 2017, will launch their Vision 2020 certification model. As meaningful as the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval and as adaptable as LEED or HUD Practices, Vision 2020 criteria should be in use by 2020.

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About equalityinsight

Vision 2020 is a national coalition of organizations and individuals united in their commitment to achieve women’s economic and social equality. Join Vision 2020 today! http://www2.drexelmed.edu/vision2020giftsonline/Individual.aspx
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One Response to Family-Friendly Workplace Policies Help Women and Men

  1. Pingback: Inspiring New Generations of Women (and Men) | Vision 2020: Equality in Sight

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