Bright Horizons and Pres. Obama Show Support for Working Families

Yesterday, this tweet appeared from Anne-Marie Slaughter: The message, from the author of the 2012 Atlantic article on women and "Having it All," was a cheer for Bright Horizons CEO Dave Lissy and his prominent role promoting supportive business cultures at this week's White House Summit on Working Families. Recognizing Bright Horizons leading voice on these issues, Lissy was one of a handful of CEOs invited to meet personally with President Obama and to contribute to both a roundtable discussion on employers' roles in supporting working families, and a panel discussion on the impact of caregiving responsibilities on work.

Creating a Workplace for All

The Summit convened business leaders, economists, legislators, advocates, and citizens to look at the challenges of employees who are trying to balance families and jobs, and to highlight the importance of creating a 21st century workplace that works for all Americans. Attendees included the President, as well as the Vice President, First Lady Michelle Obama, and Dr. Jill Biden.

That such esteemed luminaries from business, government, and policy met to discuss these important subjects is an illustration of both their urgency and their presence at the forefront of workplace concerns. It's also a reminder of the vital role employers have to play. Bright Horizons has been supporting that vital role since 1986, offering employer-sponsored child care, elder care, and other forward-thinking critical supports that enable employees to care for families and fully focus on their jobs.

"In 2014, supporting working families is not just a 'nice to do' but rather a 'must do' for employers looking to sustain competitive advantage within the markets in which they compete," says Lissy. "It is good for the employee, the employer, the family and our nation as a whole."

An Unequivocal Commitment from President Obama

The emphasis on such important issues also reinforces Bright Horizons value statements, and what the company and its clients have endorsed all along. Supportive cultures are mutually beneficial for employees and bottom lines. It's not accident, for example, that many of the greatest financial success stories are often the same companies that show up year after year on "best places to work" lists.

Yet recent research released by Bright Horizons shows that not all companies have recognized the signs. And significant challenges for today's employees remain. The Modern Family Index just released by Bright Horizons shows that many parents fear their family responsibilities could actually cost them their jobs. Bright Horizons continues to successfully help top organizations to buck that trend. "For nearly three decades," says Lissy, "we have been working with leading employers who have taken these issues seriously and have built supportive cultures that help working parents both manage their family responsibilities and remain productive and focused at work."

The White House Summit was the starting point for what many hope will be a sea change. Lissy says Bright Horizons will remain at the forefront of those changes, working to make those supportive cultures a reality for all employees - an advent he sees as essential to both successful businesses and a thriving economy.

The President, for his part, agrees. "Our economy demands it," President Obama told the audience at the Summit, "because it's going to help us compete. It's going to help us lead."

Read more about the summit and issues faced by working families at WhiteHouse.govWorkingFamiliesSummit.org.

Written by: Bright Horizons Blog Editor

About the Author

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The Bright Horizons Blog Editor frequently posts on the real solutions that meaningfully support employees, advance careers, and drive the world’s leading brands. The Editor curates the latest news, trends, and challenges facing HR pros because your time is scarce. Follow the Bright Horizons Blog to receive this insight in your inbox.