is an initiative of MomsRising is a multicultural, online, and on-the-ground grassroots organization of more than one million people working to achieve economic security for all families in the United States and end discrimination against mothers in the workplace. As part of this effort—along with legislative advocacy and educational outreach—MomsRising raises awareness about the importance of workplace flexibility practices.

Helping to update workplace practices so families can fit work and life responsibilities together is imperative for the health of children, parents, families, businesses, and society. This is a particularly pressing need at a time when more mothers, fathers, grandparents, and others are in the workforce—working long hours and sometimes multiple jobs.

The Custom-Fit Workplace Initiative documents the business benefits of workplace flexibility and custom-fit policies and practices. It points toward “win-win-win” solutions for organizations, employees, and their families. Studies show that flexible, customized work arrangements are good for all employees, whether they are single, married, old, young, able-bodied or disabled, parents or not—and that employers benefit when workers have a work-life fit.

More and more organizations are implementing flexible, customized workplace practices and demonstrating that there does not have to be a tug-of-war between job and life commitments. The Initiative offers the opportunity to stay up-to-date on this emerging, vital topic that affects lives and livelihoods. Come to this website to see what’s new and to share your own experiences forging a custom fit for yourself, your employees or co-workers, and your friends and family. We have only begun to realize the possibilities!

about the authors

Joan Blades’s interest in great workplace practices was sparked five years ago when co-authoring The Motherhood Manifesto, which details the profound bias against mothers in hiring, wages, and advancement and suggests how to begin to correct this problem. Mothers are 79 percent less likely to be offered a job than an equally qualified woman without children and earn 27 percent less than an equally qualified man partly because of deficiencies in our workplace culture and practices. Coupled with inadequate legislative policies to protect mothers from discrimination and social expectations that do not reflect the realities of modern families, this has resulted in an average lifetime earnings penalty for mothers estimated to be over a million dollars for a college educated woman. Improving our country’s workplace culture and practices will benefit all of us, and how to do this is the focus of the Initiative. Having workplace practices that make it possible for parents to both care for their children and earn a living is vital to the success of both business and the well-being of our families. Companies that respect their workers’ responsibilities outside of work by instituting modern workplace practices for parents and non-parents alike benefit from a level of commitment and increased productivity that money can't buy.

[Joan Blades photo]

Nanette Fondas's interest in great workplace practices began over two decades ago when she examined the effects of management decisions and practices on human behavior while earning her doctorate at Harvard Business School. Fondas taught organizational behavior and corporate strategy at Harvard’s Radcliffe College, Duke’s Fuqua School of Business, and the University of California, but it was when she became a mother herself that she saw the problem of work-life fit close-up and heard from parents who freely shared their hopes and dreams of better compatibility between work and home. Building on her earlier scholarly work on person-job fit and organizational-environment fit, the idea of custom-fit was born. Today she writes about work, organizations, and management at Psychology Today, The Huffington Post, Ms., and MomsRising; and edits the MomsRising column on innovative work policies and practices at The Huffington Post.

[Nanette Fonda photo]

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