I’m really excited to share my thoughts with you. This is my first blog ever – thank you Iris for pushing me to do this! I plan to blog regularly about my work at NextSpace and I hope you enjoy what I have to share and that it provides space for thought, reflection, & growth.
Quote of the Day: “When Women Succeed, America Succeeds…”
As many of you may know, I was invited to attend last Monday’s White House Summit on Working Families. My 5mos old baby, Emily came along (working family in action…) and she is a great traveler.
The event was energizing, and left me feeling:
- Confident: The event was well designed and run by the Center for American Progress (CAP), the White House, and a few other sponsors. Its focus broadly covered raising the federal minimum wage to $10.10/hr., providing universal paid family leave, offering better workplace flexibility practices, paid time off and sick leave, childcare subsidies and job training. And the event approached solving these areas by telling individual stories, offering policy solutions, building the business case, and exploring how to negotiate as a woman.
- Energetically Powerful: The energy in the room was high, upbeat, hopeful, and empowering. It felt pretty momentous to be with 1,500 Americans seeing our country’s leadership all in one room sharing their thoughts. As a participant, I could feel the pulse of Americans across the country wanting these policies asap –from the Walmart cashier who wanted to be put on light duty while being pregnant, to policy makers who had spent decades working on legislation around family leave, to CEOs already making great HR changes and wishing others would take the leap and join them. The policy makers felt it was a watershed moment to hear President Obama and other leaders validate their decades of work. And all us mamas could relate to Valerie Jarrett’s comical (yet somewhat sad) portrayal of what it felt like to be pregnant and make unnecessary excuses for needing to use the restroom. And to see them have such smooth hand-offs and speak about their children and ailing parents, their siblings and the people they’ve met that make our country great was even more inspiring. They showed the humanity side of this issue in a way that felt quite energizing.
- Shocked & Lucky: I was shocked to learn that today only 3 states offer paid family leave (California being one of them), and that the US is the ONLY developed country in the world to NOT offer paid family leave. Thanks for our NextSpace Potrero Hill community lunch discussion, I felt armed with an array of great ideas from our amazing members that are all on the national agenda now! And I realized that I’m pretty lucky to work for Uncle NextSpace – a company that gives our employees paid family leave, flex time, paid sick leave, values our team AND their families, and does its best to support our members and their families through NextKids and various community events!
- Hopeful: Out of necessity, employees are making choices to leave the workforce to work for themselves to have the flexibility that allows them to meet their family’s needs – in essence to create a career that matches their lifestyle, and not the other way around. And thank goodness for companies like NextSpace that help to create the environment for this to be possible. Our members (we fondly call them Spacers) are revolutionizing the way America works and creating solutions that demand policy changes in our country. The Summit hosted several large companies. Their CEOs, while lovely, seemed a bit out of touch with the reality of today’s knowledge worker. And while having come from corporate America, this saddened me, I now see more clearly how strongly our future depends on the companies like NextSpace, and its members to revolutionize the way we work. It gave me even more hope for the power possible in the creative, independent, and startup class – and the catalytic role NextSpace plays in this revolution!
- Grateful: There was A LOT of talk about childcare needing to not just be care, but high-quality care. I’m so proud of our truly remarkable NextKids team (yes that’s you Sarah, Rochelle, Vicky, Lauren, Maria, Ashley, Jillian, and our new lead toddler teacher Anna)! It was an honor to share our NextKids story with attendees impressed with our focus on quality. And we now have additional requests for NextKids in DC, Chicago, Queens, and Brooklyn!
Check out my favorite quotes from the day on Twitter @dianarothschild and the speeches, social media, blog posts here http://goo.gl/0Gd2Nv! I particularly enjoyed Joe Biden, President Obama, the panel that included Nancy Pelosi and Gloria Steinem, and Michelle Obama.
If you want to know more about the revolution of work, check out www.nextspace.us and know that we’re growing and coming to a city near you! I encourage CEOs to give us a call and see how together we can make this revolution even stronger. And I am curious to know – what YOU think our country most needs for families to thrive economically and socially, without compromise?
Thank you, @dianarothschild