I think this is tremendous, and sets a great example. The message for managers and bosses everywhere is simple: If Vice President Joe Biden can support the family lives of his employees, so can you. I mean, is his job any less important than yours?
I was profiled in a special Sunday Magazine issue of Chile’s leading newspaper, El Mercurio, devoted to work-family balance (see the picture above). This is Chile’s equivalent to our NYTimes Magazine. The article, which is all in Spanish is entitled, “Scott Behson, Academico Estadounidense: El Papa Tambien Importa“
At the recent White House Summit on Working Families, Ernst & Young’s CEO Mark Weinberger told an anecdote that, to me, represents our best hope that corporate leadership is finally recognizing the importance of work-family balance and will begin to sincerely address this issue.
The White House Summit was a glitzy affair- The President, Vice President, the First Lady, Nancy Pelosi, Gloria Steinem, Robin Roberts and other bigwigs all spoke about the importance of supporting working families.
However, for me, one of the standouts of the Summit was the understated CEO of EY, Mark Weinberger. He spoke during the first panel discussion (along with Economist Claudia Goldin, entrepreneur Makini Howell, SEIU President Mary Kay Henry, and moderator Jonathan Cohn of the New Republic) about how supporting family is also good for business.
They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Even moreso for this awesome infographic that the White House issued as a lead-up to the recent Summit on Working Fathers and Summit on Working Families (I am proud to be a participant in both of these efforts). To me, this graphic reinforces three important messages:
To Working Dads– You are not alone. Many share the same challenges that you do.
To Employers– Why you can and should be part of the solution, not just because it is the right thing to do, but because it is good business to do so
To Everyone– This graphic makes it clear that working fathers’ concerns are really important for company and public policy. The fact that the White House and so many employers are giving them increased attention is a sure sign of progress.
See below for the full infographic (or click here):
On June 23rd, the White House held the main event of its Summit on Working Families (see here and here on my reports from two other Summit events I participated in). I was honored to be in attendance at this event in which the President, First Lady, VP, several CEOs (including Johnson & Johnson, Goldman Sachs, EY, Deloitte, and PwC), entrepreneurs, researchers, advocates and celebrities all joined their voices in support of working families.
Despite some frustration that the event did not move things forward enough for my tastes, the Summit gave me A LOT to be encouraged about. Here are five highlights:
The Highlights! (part 1)
1. Biden and Obama Speak From the Heart as Involved Working Dads
Programming note. Today, I am at the main event of the White House Summit on Working Families in DC. Obama, Biden and a host of bigwigs in government and business are here. I will report out to you soon.
Dads are the greatest untapped resources in the lives of American kids- Kyle Pruitt
We live in a “Modern Family” society, but our policies are stuck in “Leave It To Beaver” mentality- Thomas Perez
On June 9th, I was honored to participate in the first ever White House Summit on Working Fathers. It was an amazing event, with so much great information and so many inspiring speakers. Here’s a short compilation of the most memorable quotes and ideas I heard during the event.
On June 9th, the White House, as part of its series of events comprising the Working Families Summit, is holding a one-day conference specifically to discuss the issues facing working fathers. I am proud and honored to be an invited panelist, and thrilled that working fathers’ issues are literally now on the national agenda.
There are three panel discussions planned for this event, and I am part of the third.
New roles for fathers at home – old stereotypes vs. new realities
Stigma and opportunity at work- the challenges dads face at work
The business case – highlighting companies with meaningful paternity leave and flex programs
Last week, I was a featured panelist at the NYC Regional White House Summit on Working Families. It was an amazing day filled with star power, inspiring speeches and a refreshing emphasis on the importance of supporting fatherhood. Here are some of my reflections on the day.
The concerns of fathers are sometimes under-represented in conversations about work and family. However, despite the fact that the Summit was organized by the Women’s Bureau of the US Department of Labor, I was very encouraged to see this was not the case- the concerns of fathers was front and center. Here are a few indicators:
On May 12th, I was proud to serve as a featured panelist at the NYC Regional event as part of the US Department of Labor/White House Summit on Working Families. It was a great event, featuring Senior Advisor to the President Valerie Jarrett, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, NYC Mayor Bill DiBlasio, Labor Secretary Thomas Perez, four … Read more
I will be part of a panel of business leaders and academics exploring private-sector solutions for working families- how businesses can play a part in helping employees balance work and family. I have been asked to speak on work-family issues in general and on fathers’ concerns. There will also be a panel looking at public-sector and legislative solutions.
The headliners at this event are Valerie Jarrett, Senior Advisor to the President, Thomas Perez, Secretary of the US Department of Labor, US Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, and NYC Mayor Bill DiBlasio. Panelists include yours truly, executives from L’Oreal and Shake Shack, small business owners, NYS and NYC government officials, and public advocates for working families.