Why We Love Take Your Child to Work Day!
We love the day. Frankly, when you're a child care company, it doesn't look that different from any other day (we always have crayons...and children).
But lately we've been hearing a lot of naysayers questioning the day's value. If it's no longer Take Our Daughters to Work Day (originally designed to inspire girls into the workforce, but changed to include boys when it felt too exclusionary)...what's it really for?
We can think of a few thingsFirst, girls will always need reminders that they can have great careers. Women may be the majority of college students and half of the workforce, but they're still far behind in boardrooms and laboratories. We need to fix that.
Second, boys will always need to be reminded that women belong in the workforce. A recent study showed that some of today's high school senior boys may be gravitating back to the stay-at-home wife model. We really need to fix that.
Third, future employees will always need to be reminded that work can be a positive experience. The above study about high school seniors posited the reason for the single-earner preference was a fear of reliving their own parents' struggles with unsupportive employers. We need to fix that, too, and show today's kids what modern, positive workplaces look like so they can carry that template to their own future workplaces.
Finally, we need to remind everyone that leaders are people, too...because nothing creates team spirit like the CHRO (one of Bright Horizons' many accomplished women leaders) alongside our progeny in the ping-pong-balloon game (you rock, Maribeth!).
So there you go: girls get to see women as leaders; boys get to see men and women as collaborators; and both get a picture of a workplace where men and women are on equal footing. So maybe it's not about individual careers choices, but a collective celebration of a positive approach to work. Think of it as an evolution.
And One More Thing...So...why did we celebrate last week instead of today? In Massachusetts, school vacation was the week of April 16. So we moved it up to a more convenient time (a trait we apparently share with NASA, who holds their event in June) to illustrate yet another important workplace trait: flexibility.
"In the spirit of work/life balance," explained one of the people here who organized the event, "we moved it to vacation week so more children could participate and not miss school."
So Happy Take Your Child to Work Day, everyone! Welcome the kids (although you might want to keep them away from the important buttons).
We look forward to seeing what great innovations today's children brings to the future.