How Family Support For Dads Also Helps Working Moms, Kids and Employers

My colleague’s story illustrates the negative ripple effects that a non-supportive employer has, not just on working dads, but also on their spouses, kids, and their own bottom line.

Employer support (or lack thereof) creates ripple effects for families (pixaby.com, creative commons)
Employer support (or lack thereof) creates ripple effects for families (pixaby.com, creative commons)

The other day, I was chatting with a new colleague. She had just returned from the workforce after having opted out of her career due to family demands. Her two young children had health problems, meaning that she and her husband needed some family support from their employers- but never received it.

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Leading By Example: EY’s CEO Mark Weinberger on Work and Family

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.

EY's CEO Mark Weinberger (center) spoke about his personal work-family balance priorities at the White House Summit on Working Families
EY’s CEO Mark Weinberger (center) spoke about work-family balance at the White House Summit on Working Families

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.

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The Challenges Faced By Working Dads, All In One Awesome Infographic!

This infographic with statistics compiled by the White House for the Working Fathers Summit, makes a compelling case of the importance of working dads' issues. (click to see full graphic)
This infographic with statistics compiled by the White House for the Working Fathers Summit, makes a compelling case of the importance of working dads’ issues. (click to see full graphic)

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:

  1. To Working Dads– You are not alone. Many share the same challenges that you do.
  2. 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
  3. 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):

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My 5 Favorite Parts of the White House Summit on Working Families

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.

Here's my report on the White House Summit on Working Families
Here’s my report on the White House Summit on 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

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Working Fathers Get Their Day at the White House!

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.

white house

There are three panel discussions planned for this event, and I am part of the third.

  1. New roles for fathers at home – old stereotypes vs. new realities
  2. Stigma and opportunity at work- the challenges dads face at work
  3. The business case – highlighting companies with meaningful paternity leave and flex programs

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Reflections on the NYC Regional White House Summit on Working Families: Recognizing the Importance of Supporting Fathers

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.

My panel at the NYC Regional White House Summit on Working Families
My panel at the NYC Regional White House Summit on Working Families

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:

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The NYC White House Summit on Working Families- A Photo Gallery

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

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