The kids are back in school, there’s plenty of rain, and Halloween costume ideas are being hatched.  It must be fall!  The team at Family Forward has been busy (as usual) since we sent you our Summer Newsletter in June!

Here’s what you’ll discover in the Fall 2013 edition:

FALL EVENTS | Workplace Flexibility Awards & Workshop

For the 3rd year in a row, we are bringing the Alfred P. Sloan Awards for Excellence in Workplace Effectiveness & Flexibility to Oregon.  It’s our way of highlighting some of the incredible employers in our state who have successfully figured out how to incorporate family-friendly, flexible policies into their cultures.  They are proof that workplace flexibility isn’t just possible, it’s happening and it’s a smart way to run a business.

  • Sloan AwardWorkplace Flexibility Awards Lunch: We look forward to honoring this year’s winners at our annual awards lunch on Wednesday, October 16th in Portland (details and tickets here).
  • Work-Flex Workshop: We’re excited to offer a workshop this year (right before the Sloan Awards lunch) to teach employers about flexibility policies and how to make them really work – for employees and employers.  The 2-hour training ends with a great panel of local experts and practitioners to share tips from their own experiences running flexible workplaces.  Get details and tickets here.

IN OUR OWN WORDS | Tips for Ramping On

We wrote a blog post for local Mac’s List about “on ramping” because foregoing paid work to stay at home and care for kids or an aging relative can make it hard to find that new job after so much time off.  We interviewed a Portland-based career counselor and job-seeking mom to identify best practices. Read it right here.

WE WON AN AWARD | From the NW Workers Justice Project

NWJP logo high qualityWe were pleased to receive an award this month from the Northwest Workers’ Justice Project for our work bringing paid sick days to Portland (and eventually the whole state!) and focusing on domestic workers’ rights in the state legislature this past session.  You can learn more about the award and watch FFO Executive Director Andrea Paluso’s (in absentia) acceptance video here.

REQUIRED READING | A Book & an Article

We know, we know.  Parents and other family caregivers don’t exactly have a ton of reading time on their hands! But on the off chance you do, may we recommend a great book and a shorter article:

1 | Book-of-the-Month: Reshaping the Work-Family Debate: Why Men and Class Matter is a 2010 book by Joan C. Williams – a giant in the study of work-life policy in the U.S.  It tackles important questions that are often overlooked about the impacts of bad work-family policy on men and the importance of class.  Here’s a quick synopsis to get you thinking:

reshaping workdebate“Conventional wisdom attributes women’s decision to leave work to their maternal traits and desires. In this thought-provoking book, Joan Williams shows why that view is misguided and how workplace practice disadvantages men–both those who seek to avoid the breadwinner role and those who embrace it–as well as women. Faced with masculine norms that define the workplace, women must play the tomboy or the femme. Both paths result in a gender bias that is exacerbated when the two groups end up pitted against each other. And although work-family issues long have been seen strictly through a gender lens, we ignore class at our peril. The dysfunctional relationship between the professional-managerial class and the white working class must be addressed before real reform can take root.”

2 | Must-read Article: This piece from Al Jazeera English, Mothers Aren’t Opting Out — They Are Out of Options — was a favorite among the many “opt out” articles published late this summer because it drove at the heart of our country’s work-family unsystem, asserting that today’s mothers don’t have the policies they need to provide and care for their children (and themselves!).  In short, the system’s broken, fix it already, and stop blaming mothers for often desperate personal decisions (not choices!) to make it work.

QUIZ YOURSELF | About Pregnancy Discrimination

How much do you know about pregnancy discrimination? It may sound like something that doesn’t happen in 2013 – but it does. Has it happened to you?  We’d love to hear about it.  Click here to quiz yourself!

WATCH THIS FILM | Inequality for All

rb-twitterAt the end of September we co-hosted a Portland screening of Robert Reich’s brand new documentary film, Inequality for All, that describes and explains the incredible inequality across our country in pleasantly un-wonky terms.  As he makes very clear, it’s bad for most of us and really bad for our economy, too. If you missed the film’s debut week in Portland, visit the website for loads of data, actions to take, and even host your own screening.

Become a Member of Family Forward Action Today!

Our membership program is a great way for you to connect with our work – join us!  Just click here for details and to become a member today.

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