MADISON – While family lives have changed dramatically since the 1950′s, many workplace policies haven’t kept pace. That was a common theme at the White House Summit on Working Families held on Monday, June 23rd in Washington, D.C. Senator Jennifer Shilling (D-La Crosse) joined President Barack Obama, first lady Michelle Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, Dr. Jill Biden, US Labor Secretary Perez and other leaders from across the nation at the daylong event to discuss the challenges facing working parents and share ideas on how to help families succeed.
“Businesses and families both win when we invest in people and provide working parents with greater flexibility,” Shilling said. “With more dual-income households today, our modern economy needs to move past the 1950′s era “Mad Men” sterotypes of the past. From paid family and sick leave to quality childcare and flexible work hours, we need to focus on helping parents make ends meet and be more productive in the workplace.”
Working parents, business representatives, economists, labor leaders, legislators, and advocates all participated in the White House Summit on Working Families. The event featured discussions on a wide range of issues facing working families such as workplace flexibility, equal pay, workplace discrimination, worker retention, childcare and early childhood education.
“As a working mother with two young boys, I can relate to the daily challenges that families face to provide their kids a good education and quality childcare,” Shilling added. “Parents who work hard shouldn’t have to choose between putting food on the table and actually sitting down for a meal with their family. Ensuring that working moms and dads have flexibility to balance their personal and professional lives will boost our middle class as well as the bottom line for local businesses.”
Businesses across the nation are increasingly recognizing the importance of investing in their employees and providing greater workplace flexibility, however, many working parents continue to face obstacles and challenges. Many jobs fail to offer parents time off to care for a newborn baby or look after an ailing family member. Additionally, access to quality, affordable childcare has become a growing concern for parents as stagnant wages for hourly employees have failed to keep pace with inflation.
“I support putting more money in the pockets of Wisconsin workers by increasing the minimum wage because no parent working full-time should have to raise a family in poverty,” Shilling said. “Wisconsin does better when we all do better and we should promote policies that give all working families a chance to get ahead. Providing greater flexibility for working parents will create new opportunities for families and increase our ability to compete in a 21st century global economy.”
WORKING FAMILIES BY THE NUMBERS
3 in 5
In almost 3 out of 5 married families with children, both parents work.
Nearly 28 million Americans would benefit if the minimum wage were raised to $10.10 an hour.
Average age of a worker who would benefit from an increase in the minimum wage.
Women make up nearly half of our workforce.
On average women still earn 77 cents for every dollar earned by men, and women of color earn even less.
Working married women bring home 44% of their families income.
These statistics and additional information on the White House Summit on Working Families can be found online at http://workingfamiliessummit.org/
Category: Local News