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Why Flex Time Is the #2 Most Important Employee Benefit

A big barrier to women’s leadership parity was overlooked in the recent brouhaha about Facebook and Apple covering employees’ insurance for egg freezing.

These companies are not, as headlines screamed “paying women to freeze eggs.” And I see nothing wrong with covering fertility treatments that though still far from fully effective, can give women childbearing options men naturally have, and often exercise with trophy wives.

But next to quality child care, flex time–much more than high tech fertility–is the most effective benefit companies could give women, and increasingly, men as well, to enhance opportunities to advance their careers while garnering better retention rates and job satisfaction without compromising productivity.

Old Fight, New Approach: Companies Profit from Parity

 

 

So you have an important job interview. Your sitter cancels. What do you do? When it happened to First Lady Michelle Obama, she packed up baby Malia, carted her into that job interview, and was completely surprised when she still landed the job.



The First Family's efforts to make sure our workplaces are not something out of a "Mad Men episode" comes from a very personal place.



This month is National Work and Family Month. It is a public awareness campaign to encourage companies to respond to America's modern dual income family paradigm. 

Why they would have to be encouraged at all defies economic sense.

A study of 2400 companies by Credit Suisse -- shows the more women in leadership the more successful companies are. Consumers, workers, and even investors demand a more modern approach. Yet antiquated workplace policies are blamed for the hemorrhage of female talent.


Pipeline Problems



11 Tips to Help You Save on Groceries

I wasn’t much of a cook when I was younger. I admit it, I loved eating out.  It was my biggest expense. Now, that I am older, with two sons who would eat me out of house and home if I let them, I realize that I can’t eat out as often as I once did. And, I don’t want to. Our bonding as a family has happened in the kitchen and at the dining table. The kitchen is where they run when they arrive from school, while the dining room has heard more gossip and school dramas than Gossip Girl ever featured.  This bonding happened while they grabbed finger foods from the fridge, snacked on baked plantains while doing homework and ate a dinner that surpassed any they could eat at a restaurant – not because of the price but because of the love that came with it.

I treasure each and every one of those moments. Not only do I get to share a piece of their day, but I know they are eating healthy foods that I was able to buy at a fraction of the cost.

Woman's voice silenced by gun laws!

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Horrifying. An anonymous emailer wrote that if Utah State University didn’t cancel Anita Sarkeesian’s speech about women's rights within 24 hours, then he would commit the “deadliest school shooting in American history.”

The warning letter, purportedly from a USU student, was sent to dozens of Utah State University school administrators several days before Anita Sarkeesian was scheduled to speak at the public university in Logan, Utah. 

Sarkeesian, the feminist cultural critic who has become a lightening rod for challenging how women are portrayed and treated in videogames, has been dealing with such violent harassment and threats for years. She was planning to speak anyway… until she learned that audience members would be permitted to carry concealed weapons into the event space, and there was nothing the school could do about it.

This is NOT okay on so many levels. 

Good News for Children When Congress Works Together

While we rarely hear good news these days about Congress, I have some to share.  Continuing a long tradition of bipartisan leadership on behalf of abused and neglected children, last month both the House and the Senate passed and the President signed into law the Preventing Sex Trafficking and Strengthening Families Act (H.R. 4980/P.L. 113-183). This new legislation improves the child welfare system to prevent children and youths in foster care from becoming victims of sex trafficking and protects foster care youths who are already victims. It offers new hope of permanent families for children and extra support for those youths who end up aging out of foster care.

What School Lunch Can Teach Us

The statistics are alarming: One out of two public school students lives in poverty. Two out of three public school students qualify for free or subsidized lunch. Three out of five teachers in America report they have children who regularly come to school hungry.

If teachers and school support staff are on the frontlines fighting the war on poverty, we know that students are often the forgotten casualties. Fellow students sometimes do notice though—despite the utmost discretion by teachers and support staff—who gets a snack from their teacher during a test, or who gets a borrowed backpack filled with food on Fridays so they can eat over the weekend. So, as we celebrate National School Lunch Week, it's worth discussing how, as parents, we talk to our kids about the economic inequities, in addition to the racial inequities, that are deeply rooted in our neighborhoods and our schools. 

#FoodFri Tweetchat: Food Justice & Equality Affects Foods Sold & Served in YOUR Community

Tweetchat

We envision a world in which all people have access to healthy, affordable food that nourishes our bodies and environments. Yet right now, that vision is plagued by severe inequality. Due to a food system skewed by the financial interests of transnational corporations, we live in a society in which unhealthy food is cheap, heavily marketed, and abundant, but healthy food is more expensive and can be difficult to come by. In this chat, we'll discuss this issue of food justice and how it reflects the corporate abuse of our food system.

Join #FoodFri with @MomsRising and @StopCorpAbuse on Friday, October 17, 2014 at 1pm, EST to chat about food justice and equality.

Together, we can raise our voices and spread the word because every child deserves the right to healthy, affordable food.

 

 

To join and follow the conversation on Twitter use the #FoodFri Hashtag in each tweet.

Today’s Lesson: Inequality

I remember learning about inequality in math class back in the day.  I’m sure you remember too—the lessons usually involved Pac-Man—and the terms “greater than” and “less than”. 

I encountered mathematical inequalities again when I taught them to my third graders.  But since becoming a part of the team at the National Women’s Law Center, I’ve learned a lot about the other types of inequality in schools.  Unfortunately, it’s no math lesson—and too many African American girls are on the “less than” side of it.

Our new report: Unlocking Opportunity for African American Girls: A Call to Action for Educational Equity describes the barriers that African American girls encounter in school and the educational and employment outcomes that stem from these barriers.  Unlocking Opportunity also offers recommendations for addressing these barriers and changing these outcomes.

Here are just a few of the inequalities discussed in the report—and my own two cents about how to solve each.

Ulises’ American Dream Deferred

This post, authored by Josie Raymond, originally appeared on TalkPoverty.org. Undocumented immigrants like Ulises and his family need immigration reform to alleviate poverty. TalkPoverty.org is dedicated to demonstrating that we know how to dramatically reduce poverty; we just need to build the political will. Make sure to like TalkPoverty on Facebook and follow us on Twitter!

“As time went on, I saw how my own country, the place where I lived, was actually a bad place. I would see people fight and I thought that would be my life. I thought, that’s me–then I turned 4.”

That’s not a joke. Ulises, an undocumented 16-year-old high school junior living in the Bay Area, is a living example of poverty prematurely aging a child’s soul while impeding him in so many other ways.

Head Smacker: Voter ID Laws Further Silence Those Whose Voices Need To Be Heard The Most

Check out this post from the Coalition on Human Needs' Senior Policy Writer Lecia Imbery:

“There is only one motivation for imposing burdens on voting that are ostensibly designed to discourage voter-impersonation fraud, if there is not actual danger of such fraud, and that is to discourage voting by persons likely to vote against the party responsible for imposing the burden.” – 7th Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Richard A. Posner, in his dissenting opinion about the voter ID law in Wisconsin.

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