July 12, 2012

Let’s talk about mothers & work!

We’re hosting a conversation about work and family next week in Portland and we want you to join us!  We were inspired by Anne-Marie Slaughter’s recent article in The Atlantic, “Why Women Still Can’t Have It All” (and the many, many responses to it), because she raises some important questions about mothers and work in the U.S. that we grapple with often. She also makes some very critical points about how and why our workplace and public policies aren’t in sync with today’s families.

The way we see it, our dark-age family policies  prevent too many mothers from remaining financially stable, engaging with their children, and reaching leadership positions (where we need them!). Great fodder for a hearty conversation!

Read more about the event here.

July 12, 2012

Our thoughts on Anne-Marie Slaughter’s article in The Atlantic

Anne-Marie Slaughter’s recent article in The Atlantic about the structural barriers to mothers truly succeeding (and even surviving) in the workplace, “Why Women Still Can’t Have It All,” was like a lit match touched to a fuse.  To any mother in America today, it’s obvious why: day in and day out we are forced to decide what’s more important: our work (and the financial security it brings our families) or our kids.  The result ranges from poverty and inequality to under-parented kids to a real lack of women leaders in American business and government. Keep reading here.

June 25, 2012

6.25.12 ~ Talking motherhood + work on OPB’s Think Out Loud

When Anne-Marie Slaughter’s important article in The Atlantic, “Why Women Can’t Have It All,” went live last week, we knew it would be big.  And rightly so.  Ms. Slaughter is an exceptionally accomplished woman who decided to speak openly, honestly and constructively about the fact that motherhood and work aren’t compatible enough in the U.S. for mothers to reach the highest levels of power and success. Which is a problem not just for American women (and their families), but also for our nation.  When women are systematically prevented from reaching real positions of power, it impacts our public policies – affecting everything from childcare programs to war policy. Read on…

June 22, 2012

Food justice at home

In case you missed it, here’s our Executive Director’s June 22, 2012 Letter to the Editor in The Oregonian, in response to David Sarasohn’s recent column on the 2nd Annual Multnomah Food Summit.  Click here to read the letter.

June 22, 2012

Who Cares for the Sick Kids?

Never were truer words spoken: “Everybody gets sick – especially children.”  And no-one knows this better than the working parents who struggle to care for their sick children without losing pay, their workplace credibility, or their job.  This new issue brief from the Carsey Institute at the University of New Hampshire takes a hard look at how parents and children are affected by sick leave policies.  Three of the report’s key findings really struck us. Click here to read more.

May 19, 2012

Today’s mothers often lack true ‘choice’

Family Forward Oregon’s Communications Director, Lisa Frack, shared her opinions about the false choices mothers facer in the United States in The Portland Tribune (5/17/12).

When I read Peter Korn’s recent article, “Women choose different paths as single mothers” (March 15), I was struck by a word in the title that plagues the entire American conversation about motherhood: choose.

“Choice” is a loaded term in our culture because it implies a woman’s right to choose whether to end a pregnancy. And while the abortion debate has everything to do with motherhood, it is rarely framed that way. The truth is, beyond this initial choice to become a mother when pregnant, mothers experience precious little choice in this country.

Read her full guest opinion piece here.

May 14, 2012

The War is ON Moms, Not Between Them

To celebrate Mother’s Day, Family Forward Oregon’s Executive Director, Andrea Paluso, shared her thoughts in The Oregonian about the media hype around the fake “mommy wars,” clarifying, instead, that if there’s a war at all, it’s on moms, not between them.

Read her full guest column here.

May 3, 2012

The High Cost of Child Care

I’ll never forget that first check I wrote to pay for child care.  It was so much money!  Did you know that in Oregon, child care often costs more than college tuition?  That’s right.  Full-time infant and toddler care, for example, costs an average of $10,392 a year, while college tuition averages $6,790.  And we have 18 or so years to sock money away for college!  Not so for child care, which many of us start paying for as soon as six weeks after birth.  A shocking reality for most new parents.  Read the rest.

April 20, 2012

NPR Airs Story on Working Mom Conundrum

The recent brouhaha in the national news media around Ann Romney’s work as a stay-at-home mother of five has yielded some excellent commentary that – happily – reaches far behind the old “mommy wars.”  Because today’s mothers know that there are much more important issues at stake, ranging from the high cost of child care to lack of workplace flexibility and paid time off to care for sick family members. Plus, most of us do stints of paid and unpaid work throughout our time as mothers, so the divide is no longer relevant (if it ever was).

Take a minute (or 4) to listen to this excellent NPR story on the challenges of working mothers in the United States – it’s another positive outcome of last week’s hullaballoo.

April 17, 2012

New Report on Paid Family & Medical Leave!

The Center for American Progress (CAP) just released a new report (April 12, 2012) documenting the need for a national paid family and medical leave program.  The report, “The Effects of Paid Family and Medical Leave on Employment Stability and Economic Security,” explains how – “though it may seem counterintuitive – providing paid family and medical leave when people cannot work due to caregiving responsibilities actually helps keep people employed. Read the rest.

March 1, 2012

2011 Winning Workplaces

We know that creating a family-forward workplace takes courage and leadership.  We also know that Oregon families – and businesses – do better when workplaces are flexible.  And in the 21st century, it’s THE way to work. That’s why, each year, we bring the When Work Works Award (formerly known as the Sloan Award) to […]