Lead On Leave: Come on, America

9to5 board members Harriet Bradley and Gloria Smith are excited about Lead On Leave initiatives.

By Iman Naim

Earlier this week I attended “Lead on Leave: Empowering Working Families Across America” at the Atlanta City Hall. The event was a moderated conversation with Mayor Kasim Reed and Senior Advisor to President Obama, Valerie Jarrett about the benefits and necessity of paid leave and equal pay.

Forty percent of working moms are the primary or sole breadwinner for their families. Guess how many hours that means they’re working. Well, since they are the primary caregivers as well: 24 hours, 7 days a week.

This is why we need paid leave and equal pay. It’s too hard to support a family otherwise. And it’s good for businesses too! Happy, un-stressed workers= more productivity. We know this to be true because we’ve seen this in places that take care of their employees.

They also touched on work that needs to be discussed more: paid maternity and paternity leave and affordable childcare. The U.S. is the only developed country without paid maternity leave, and most developed countries also have some sort of paternity leave.

What I took away from the discussion the most?

“Listen to your employees. You’ll be more competitive if you meet their needs.” –Valerie Jarrett


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