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Thriving After Transitioning to a Third Metric Life

May 20, 2014
I recently finished reading Arianna Huffington’s latest book, Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom and Wonder , and I have three words to describe it: It’s. About. Time. Anyone who has a job that requires constant connectivity can identify with the social diseases of time famish and perpetual distraction. Using studies and anecdotes from her own time-strapped life that led to her collapse of exhaustion at work from stress and an emergency room visit, Huffington makes a compelling case for why the way many U.S. workers live is not only...
Elisa Batista's picture

Being a Low-Income Mother; Then and Now

May 6, 2014
In 1996, Bill Clinton officially announced that motherhood was not work. He did this through his Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act . This legislation stated that people could no longer receive benefits unless they fulfilled 30 hours per week of out-of-home work requirements. Clinton said this would “end welfare as we know it.” And it did. Since 1996, the number of families with children living in extreme poverty ($2 a day or less) has increased by nearly 130% . When I started interviewing mothers for Gross Domestic Product , I focused on mothers who were receiving, or had at...

Moms Know How to Unite Us: Congress Should Follow their Lead and Pass FAMILY Act

May 5, 2014
Mothers often act us “uniters” in families, whether it’s settling petty sibling squabbles, or managing the more serious rifts and challenges that so many families face. And, more and more, moms bring families together as primary or sole breadwinners. Given this role, perhaps it’s not surprising that public policies to support working moms – and all working parents for that matter – also tend to unite Americans. In 2014, let’s celebrate Mother’s Day by calling upon Congress to follow moms’ lead and come together around a national paid family and medical leave insurance program . Here in the...
Liz Ben-Ishai's picture

Moguls, Moms, & Maids: Work-Life Stress and Solutions

May 2, 2014
Since 2012 when The Atlantic published Anne-Marie Slaughter’s reflection on “ Why women still can’t have it all ,” a spate of books have appeared. Some describe the problem: mothers are Overwhelmed and Maxed Out . Others present solutions, on everything from Getting to 50/50 to What Works for Women at Work, and how to Lean In to a career. Yet, as Ann Crittenden notes in The New York Times , even after decades of these books, the pressures on mothers have worsened, despite sensible tips offered in them. The problem, says Crittenden, is the “fallacy that a systemic problem can be addressed if...
Nanette Fondas's picture

The Collateral Damage of Scheduling Challenges in Low-Wage Jobs

April 25, 2014
When policymakers discuss solutions to help nearly 20 million low-wage workers make ends meet, the focus is often on raising wages. Raising the minimum wage and tipped minimum wage would go a long way to help these workers, but ...
Liz Watson's picture

Once You Work from Home, There's No Going Back

April 23, 2014
Yesterday was one of those moments, in which I felt my life come full circle. Almost 11 years ago, I left a reporting job in San Francisco to be home with my newborn son…and to be on the lookout for a job that I could do from home.
Elisa Batista's picture

Making Women’s History: From Patsy Mink to Paycheck Fairness

April 8, 2014
I was a bit surprised by the lack of coverage for Women’s History Month this year, particularly in the state where I live, since so many women who improved the lives of working families were pivotal to Hawaii's history. It is essential that we continue to remember these women. While many people are aware of Congresswoman Patsy Mink’s accomplishments , many are not as familiar with Harriet Bouslog , Hawaii’s first female labor and civil rights attorney, or ILWU social worker Ah Quon McElrath . Yet like Mink, the significance of their achievements extends far beyond the advances they made as...
Shay Chan Hodges's picture

Scrambling for Stability: The Challenges of Job Schedule Volatility and Child Care

March 27, 2014
For Karen, a part-time package delivery person and mom to a one-year-old, making child care arrangements is a weekly exercise in scrambling. That’s because Karen receives notice of her schedule only one week in advance, and her shifts fluctuate. The volatility of her schedule makes everything harder. Karen struggles to find friends and family to care for her baby on short notice. And when she can’t work the magic necessary to arrange child care on the fly, she is disciplined at work for being late or missing a day. Karen’s story, recounted in a 2011 report from the Institute for Workplace...
Liz Ben-Ishai's picture

No One Tells Mamma to "Just Go Home!"

March 19, 2014
By Galen Sherwin, ACLU Women's Rights Project Imagine you have just returned from maternity leave, still nursing your baby, and you find that your workplace has no place available for you to pump breast milk. After trying for several hours to find a place, you ask for help from your department head, who says “You know, I think it’s best that you just go home to be with your babies.” She hands you a pen and paper, advises you to resign, and even dictates what you should write down as your letter of resignation. This is exactly what Angela Ames, a Loss Mitigation Representative at Nationwide...
ACLU's picture

What Would Gloria Do? #WWGD

March 12, 2014
The first MAKERS CONFERENCE was held in February, including a celebration of the life and work of Gloria Steinem. In honor of her eightieth birthday, it featured a video with touching and funny statements from Oprah, Ellen DeGeneres, Ruth Bader Ginsberg, Katie Couric, and others about Steinem's life's work that, as Marlo Thomas summarized, "connected the dots between all women and created a sisterhood." At the end, the screen displayed a simple hashtag, #WWGD, which stands for "What would Gloria do?" What would Gloria do to resolve the unfinished business of the women's movement she helped...
Nanette Fondas's picture

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