Join a community of people who care about making work and life fit together. Learn how you, your employees, managers, and business can benefit from the custom-fit workplace. Sign-up and we'll send you updates about news, resources, articles, blogs, and events.

Sign Up


blogging on flexibility in the workplace

I support the FAMILY Act. Do you?

I took advantage of California Paid Family Leave after my baby was born. During that 12 weeks, I bonded with my baby by breastfeeding him as often and as long as possible; I also built a very good milk supply. By the time I went back to work when my little one turned 3 months old, I had two gallon of breast milk stored in my freezer.

The working environment I returned to was, unfortunately, very unfriendly to breastfeeding mothers. I went through a long, exhausting process of fighting just for a reasonable pumping space and a harassment-free office, which caused me to be stressed out with my milk drying up.

Luckily, I was able to continue exclusively breastfeeding my little one with my stored milk supply. When I was about to use up that storage, I left my job and became a freelancer. I was relieved and my milk supply came back.

Breast milk on the go

My job requires frequent traveling. As a journalist, I’ve been reporting from places such as quake-stricken Haiti, war-torn Mexico, and typhoon-damaged Taiwan.

These are challenging works. The biggest challenge, though, is collecting and transporting breast milk while traveling. After all, I’m more a mother than a journalist.

Lucky enough, America is a very breastmilk-country, in comparison to many of the countries and areas around the world. I never had a problem with carrying breast milk through airport security checkpoints, nor with  hotel staff members to storing my breast milk for me.

To collect, transport and keep my milk fresh while traveling, all I need is a breast milk pump, some sealed containers such as bottles or storage bags, and an insulated cooler with frozen ice packs.

Sexism Is Alive and Well on the Interwebs

In documenting how she was stalked and threatened online, Amanda Hess, a feminist journalist, shines an unflinching spotlight on the ugly misogyny that too often pervades online forums, making women feel unwelcome or even unsafe just for speaking our minds. It is for similar reasons that (much as I cherish the First Amendment) I generally try not to get sucked into reading comments posted on stories covering cases brought by the ACLU Women’s Rights Project, where I work.

How to pump at work like a supermodel

(c) Gisele Bündchen Instagram

There has been lots of discussion about supermodel Gisele’s breastfeeding photo. I’m thrilled that she is nursing her 1-year-old. I also envy her for being lucky to have such understanding colleagues that she could multi-task like that.

For many mothers, it’s not possible to have their baby with them on the job and even asking for a reasonable time and/or space to pump at work is a challenge. I used to work for a company where I had to pump in the restroom and was harassed by my colleagues for washing pump accessories in the office kitchen. The fight for my right tobreastfeed was long and exhausting, and the situation eventually resulted in my resignation.

Just a while ago I was invited to a KAZN talk show to talk about my breastfeeding experience, and the most important thing I wanted to tell my fellow breastfeeding mothers was “know your rights.”

The Short Game: Taking the “Work” out of “Working Together”

Two nights ago, I hosted a gathering for my new ebook, Lean On and Lead, Mothering and Work in the 21st Century Economy.  The event was an opportunity to experience the interactive nature of my project as well as to meet Hawaii’s Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa, a candidate for US Senate, who is one of the interviews in my book.

Moguls, Moms & Maids: From Wall Street to Main Street

Last Sunday’s New York Times article “Wall Street Mothers, Stay-Home Fathers” may focus on a small but growing sliver of couples in the privileged world of Wall Street, but there is a message in there for all working parents: stay-at-home fathers are not like stay-at-home mothers, and actually, we shouldn’t want them to be.

Authors Jodi Kantor and Jessica Silver-Greenberg feature a group of Wall Street women who are married to men who stay home. Free from the burdens of domestic duties, the women are able to focus full force on their careers. Mostly.

Just past the halfway mark in the article, the women start to discuss how their husbands approach their roles as the primary caregivers and homemakers. One woman points out her husband doesn’t multitask and that for him, “laundry is an activity.” Several of the women said, “They resented the fact that their husbands did not cook or clean up.” Bingo.

Black Thursday, a.k.a. Thanksgiving

By Elizabeth Johnston and Liz Watson, National Women’s Law Center
Cross-posted from NWLC’s blog

For Walmart workers, this year Black Friday starts on Black Thursday, the day also known as Thanksgiving. Being open on Thanksgiving is actually nothing new for Walmart. What is new is that Black Friday sales will start at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving this year, meaning many more workers must work through the holiday.

In total, more than 1 million Walmart workers will be missing out on time with their families this Thanksgiving. Although Walmart’s CEO says workers are “excited” to do it because it is a “high energy day”, it’s hard to see how they have any choice in the matter.

Generation Zero—Why Millennials, And All of Us, Need Family-Friendly Laws

survey of recent University of Pennsylvania Wharton School graduates reveals that many young adults are planning to solve the work/family crunch by removing family from the equation. Only 42% of the undergraduate class of 2012 plans to have children, compared to 78% of the class of 1992, according to research by Stewart Friedman, author of the new book, “Baby Bust.”

Goldman Sachs New ‘Saturday’ Rule is Beyond Ridiculous

What happens when Wall Street tries to give “flexibility” to their overworked employees?

Something so ridiculous and astonishing, you’ll wonder if it’s straight out of the front page of The Onion.

Something taken right from our speaking engagements when we give examples of the crazy things employers do to avoid getting clear about actual results.

Last week Goldman Sachs announced a new “Saturday Rule” for junior bankers. The rule goes something like this:

Get your butt out of the office by 9pm Friday night and don’t come back until 9am Sunday. Anyone caught working on Saturday, or assigning work that is due on Saturday, will be punished.

Kids? What Kids? A Working Woman’s Bluff

At a recent business dinner, I was seated next to a woman who had founded  a venture-backed startup. Her company was about four years old, and had raised tens of millions of dollars.

I’m an editor-at-large for Inc and At Inc, we write about entrepreneurs, and about burnout. So I asked her, “We always hear that being an entrepreneur is a 24/7 endeavor. But you’ve been doing this for years, and no one can work all the time without burning out. What do you do to stay sane?”

“I don’t know,” she said. “It’s funny. You just find a way to keep going.”

At some point, I thought, everyone needs a break. Even people who claim they only need four hours’ sleep each night generally take big naps during the day. So I tried again. “Look,” I said. “If you ask me, I’ll tell you I work all the time. But the truth is it’s very hard to get me on the phone or on email between 5:30 and 8:30 on a weeknight. That’s when I see my kids. I’m back online by 9:00, but I don’t literally work all the time.”

“Well, I work an awful lot,” said my dinner companion. “There’s no other choice if you want to run a company like this.”

Syndicate content

Copyright © 2012 MomsRising
Contact Us | Legal & Privacy | Subscribe | Unsubscribe