Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios
Across the country, working women must become proud, proud “mom voters,” exclusively supporting politicians who promise to expand child care benefits, says Reshma Saujani, CEO and founder of the Marshall Plan for mothers.
Why is this important: Millions of mothers have left their jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic due to inadequate childcare, postponing their professional hopes and dreams – perhaps forever.
Driving the news: The Marshall Plan for Moms, a two-year-old nonprofit with less than a dozen employees and multi-million dollars in funding, has galvanized voters, employers and public servants — and won some important victories .
- The group helped pass a historic daycare center legislation in New York that could lead to universal child care there.
- It’s working with big companies, armed with McKinsey to research on the business case for employer-sponsored child care.
- And he has released a “game bookfor employers, listing “10 ways to make the workplace (finally) work for moms.”
By the numbers: 1.1 million women are still out of the labor market since the start of the pandemic, according to the group.
- 69% of women with children under 5 would be more likely to choose an employer with on-site childcare or related benefits, McKinsey found.
- Employers who offer childcare benefits see an 80% increase in working mother loyalty and a 40% increase in productivity, said Charles Bonello, CEO of vivia provider of corporate child care programs.
Past: Saujani, a Democrat who ran unsuccessfully for Congress and New York City Public Advocate, is a best-selling author (“Brave, not Perfect”) who founded girls who code to close the gender gap in technology – and she just released a new book, “Pay,” on the future of women and work.
- She has a fascinating personal story – a key child who faced discrimination as the daughter of Indian immigrants and later graduated from Yale Law School.
What they say : Congress’ failure Passing new childcare subsidies last year was a blow, admits Saujani – but one that led her to double down on private sector employers and take out the ‘childcare vote’ children”.
- When it became clear that child care funding was being cut from the Build Back Better program, “20 million mothers should have marched on Washington,” she said at a recent event in New York. on his work.
- “Because I’m telling you – the student loan activists? They did it. The climate activists? They did it. Because every day they were calling their elected officials, they were showing up in Washington.
- “We didn’t do that. And so – and I say this with love for myself – we got what we deserved.”
Now, says Saujani, she “puts my energy, my effort, my time, my resources into organizing moms in a different way” than has been done in the past.
- She urges women to voice their needs in the workplace and apply a “working mother” lens at the ballot box.
Although national childcare services legislation remains elusive, the Marshall Plan for Moms is working with top business leaders to implement change company-by-company.
- In May, he created the National Business Coalition for Child Carewhose members include Patagonia, Synchrony, Harvard University, Gibson Dunn, Etsy and Archewell (Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s nonprofit).
- “We have [the members] collect the data that shows their attrition rates are lower than other companies because they offer childcare subsidies,” Saujani told Axios.
- About 50 more companies are set to join, possibly for an upcoming White House event, she said.
The bottom line: Women are a force to be reckoned with in American politics, especially when they come together across class and racial divides. If Saujani can help close those gaps — and get the corporate world on board — she’ll be that much closer to success.
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