A recent Washington Post story examined how working 13-hour days at high-levels in the Obama administration affect parents with young kids at home.
The story was full of examples of parents such as White House budget chief Sylvia Mathews Burwell, who had to leave her 4-year-old’s birthday party for a budget impasse.
Former deputy chief of staff Nancy-Ann DeParle’s 12-year-old son asked her to quit after two years of overseeing the healthcare policy. President Obama invited her child in to discuss why he still needed his mom.
It’s a hard article to summarize but it looks at how the White House is trying to make work-life more manageable for its own employees and what the government could possibly do for the rest of the nation.
“Even as Democrats tout family-friendly policies as a top priority, those within 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. continue to wrestle with the fact that their own workplace often falls short of those ideals. Obama announced last week that he would host a White House Summit on Working Families on June 23, in part to ease “the burdens” working women face.
More than five years into the administration, the White House has taken several steps to make one of the most demanding offices in America more manageable for working parents. It has expanded paid parental leave, installed more nursing rooms within the complex and provides a low-cost, emergency day-care service. A few of its highest-ranking women — including Burwell, national security adviser Susan E. Rice and U.N. ambassador Samantha Power — have kids at home….”
Liz Watson, director of workplace justice for women at the National Women’s Law Center, said it would be great if the White House could pilot “the right to request flexible workplace schedules,” which is the law in countries including Britain and the Netherlands.”
What do you think will come of the White House Summit on Working Families? What would you like to see come out of it? What could your workplace do or provide to make your work-life balance more manageable? Should the government be involved in this or is that a private-sector of women moving to companies that take care of them?