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Emma Plumb's picture

I’m passionate about an issue that deeply affects moms: the need for work flexibility to be embraced by employers across the country.

But I’m not a mom myself, and so I’m usually careful to emphasize all the many reasons work flexibility is important that are unrelated to parenthood or gender. Work flexibility is good for the environment. It’s good for our health. It makes us happier. It boosts productivity. There are statistics galore that demonstrate the work flexibility is a win/win for employers and employees of all sorts.

And yet, none of these statistics seem to move the needle on this issue the way they should. Work flex advocates have been citing them for literally decades, with only incremental progress—and often one step back for every two steps forward.

The new movement 1 Million for Work Flexibility hopes to help shake things up. We’re bringing together the many different voices of those who already support work flexibility—including employers who are ahead of the curve and embrace flex, as well as non-profits, advocacy groups like MomsRising, academic organizations, and business leaders speaking out for change. And perhaps most importantly, we’re also providing a space for workers nationwide to raise their hands in support of this issue that is so critical for our well-being and for our productivity.

Because what we need most of all in order for change to happen is for workers themselves to speak up. All the statistics in the world can’t make change if people aren’t talking about what they need, asking for it—and even clamoring for it.

And that’s where moms come in.

I’m not a mom, and so I’m especially aware of the fact that work flexibility is not just for moms. But, I have a mom, and my friends are moms, and my colleagues are moms. And I’m not alone in that; in fact, it’d be pretty tricky to find anyone who can’t say the same. We don’t need to be moms to be able to relate to moms, and to care about what moms need.

My mom needed flexibility at work. My mom-friends need flexibility at work. My mom-colleagues need flexibility at work. It’s stories like theirs that will really light a fire for change in the workplace in a way that statistics never will, and their stories are shared by moms like you across the country.

We all need moms speaking out about the fact that juggling parenthood and career without flexibility is impossible. We all need moms speaking out about the fact that employers can’t pretend they are still in the “Mad Men era,” and demanding that the workplace catch up to modern workforce demographics.

So to all the moms out there: don’t stay silent about what you need to be successful both at work and at home. Share your stories wherever you can with anyone and everyone who will listen, and add your voice to the choir calling for change.

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