Around 64 percent of mothers with children under age six work, according to federal statistics. In 40 percent of households with children, women are now the sole or primary breadwinners. Yet many employers haven’t shifted policies to reflect those changes and the United States is the only developed country without paid maternity or parental leave for workers.
Studies have found that policies like maternity and paternity leave, lactation programs, childcare and eldercare, and flexible scheduling have positive impacts on the health and economic stability of employees and families. Such policies also correspond with increased sales and higher productivity, reduced absenteeism and turnover, and lower health-related expenses.
In this month’s Public Square, we talk about family-friendly workplace policies with employers and employees, policy experts and advocates. Community leaders include Giovanna Rossi of Collective Action Strategies, Danny Jarrett, a labor law attorney who serves on the board of the Association of Commerce and Industry, and Santa Fe City Councilor Carmichael Dominguez.
Family Friendly Workplaces RESOURCES.
Funding for PUBLIC SQUARE is provided in part by American Graduate and a new, 2-year grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.
Quotes From PUBLIC SQUARE Participants:
“When we have such a poor state and we don’t have family friendly policies we just work to keep the poor people poorer.”
– Giovanna Rossi , Collective Action Strategies
“We’re talking about a lot of different things that really allow people … to have a dignified standard of living and the ability to manage work and families.”
– Harry Van Buren, professor, Anderson School of Management
“Some 46 percent of women in workplace are pregnant or are planning to give birth at some point in time during the period that they are working. So yes, we do need protections for them.”
– Pamelya Herndon, executive director, Southwest Women’s Law Center
“Are we looking at the well-being of the next generation? What is the legacy that I’m going to leave as an employer as somebody who does business in New Mexico.”
– Jessica Aranda, program director, Southwest Creations Collaborative
“We are constantly in conflict between those demands of the workplace and our demands at home, and when families are under that kind of stress, nobody gets what they need.”
– Ona Porter, CEO, Prosperity Works