This Mother’s Day, support the women in your life by being an advocate for change.
Wondering what to get Mom for Mother’s Day? This year, consider taking action as an ally to more fully support the women in your life.
You’ve seen the headlines. Women face strong headwinds at work (and at home). They are feeling burned out. They want more flexibility at work, but it is still not an option for many. Women are still experiencing non-inclusive behaviors at work. And women continue to shoulder a heavier load at home in the form of housework and caregiving than men do.
It’s time for allies and advocates to step forward. Here are a couple of ideas to help you take action:
A 2023 Pew Research Center report found that “a majority of people believe society still values men’s contributions at work more than their contributions at home.” While this outdated notion lingers, several people are taking up the mantle to right this wrong.
Eve Rodsky, author of “Fair Play,” has stated that “this will not change on its own.” Continuing, she explains, “Women’s time is viewed as infinite—like sand—and men’s time is finite and guarded like diamonds.”
Rodsky’s book features ideas and tools for domestic rebalance, outlining a system for how to divide up household work fairly, based on your needs. For those who don’t have time to read the book, there is a documentary and a newsletter.
Prior to Mother’s Day, delve into Rodsky’s work and put her suggestions into action at home. Mom will be delighted to rebalance and right-size the housework. Imagine the positive outcomes for everyone involved.
This Mother’s Day, join me in taking action to address workplace gender inequities. I have created the Actions for Advocates as an opt-in program to engage advocates for women’s advancement. To participate, simply commit to doing a minimum of one thing (hopefully more) to advance women in the workplace.
This year I’m calling on all fathers, and frankly, all men, to join me this weekend in having a conversation with your wife, daughter, working mom, or co-workers (women and men). Ask them:
- How are they doing?
- How have they navigated the past year?
- What support did they receive from their boss and their employer?
- What support did they receive from their spouse, family and friends?
- What support did they need and didn’t receive?
Your instructions are straightforward. Ask the question and then be quiet. Just listen. Genuinely listen to the response from your wife, daughter, working mom or co-worker. Ask the question again. Listen to them talk about their experiences in the workplace (or in the world). Really listen to the experiences of the women in your life.
We need more men to listen to understand.
Never before have we needed men to step up and listen. Change is needed. The workplace was not designed to support the changing demographics of the current workforce. Let’s be candid, the workplace as we know it was designed with the notion of the male worker who had a female spouse at home to manage the myriad of family and domestic responsibilities and tasks. Today the “average worker” is likely to be a single mother or dual-working spouse who is managing a career, home, and also taking care of their aging parents. The systems around us are breaking, and those we hold near and dear are impacted by a myriad of inequities from pay to flexibility and processes that reward antiquated paradigms.
It’s incumbent upon us to deepen our level of understanding in order to lead with a greater understanding of those we love and work with.
Since each of us approaches this work in a unique and personal way, I’ve created multiple pledge forms. The important thing is to be involved! Select the approach that works for you:
To drive real change, please consider sharing this with two friends!
Happy Mother’s Day!