Take Our Daughters to Work Day expands to include sons

To advance the status of and opportunities for females in the workplace, males need to participate.

That’s the premise that drove the Ms. Foundation for Women to change its 10-year-old annual initiative — previously called Take Our Daughters to WorkDay — to Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day, scheduled for April 24.

Following the lead of the Ms. Foundation, the organization that created the national event, the University will embrace the new initiative called “A New Generation At Work” and extend its invitation for the planned events of April 24 to all 8- to 12-year-old children of faculty and staff.

Fliers with a request form for a registration packet were recently mailed to all faculty and staff members on the Hilltop Campus.

The deadline to request a registration packet is March 24; the program registration deadline is April 7. Because space is limited, participants will be chosen on a first-come, first-served basis.

The day will begin at 8 a.m. in The Gargoyle in Mallinckrodt Student Center and will offer programs beginning at 9 a.m.,10 a.m. and 11 a.m. The program concludes at 1 p.m. after a brown-bag lunch in Umrath Lounge.

“We encourage Hilltop faculty and staff to bring their children to campus for Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day,” said Lorraine Goffe-Rush, director of employee relations and human resources. “Washington University has a tradition of presenting a diverse mix of activities that are enlightening and entertaining, and this year will be no different.

“We have devised a schedule of programs that should suit every interest.”

The change in focus comes a full decade after the Ms. Foundation launched the groundbreaking event to encourage organizations to help empower female adolescents and broaden their perceptions about opportunities for women in the workplace.

“Our next step is to bring the boys to work alongside the girls and take on issues that they will both confront in the workplace,” said Marie C. Wilson, president of the Ms. Foundation.

According to the Ms. Foundation Web site, the new focus is designed to begin changing perceptions about the integration of work with family responsibilities and personal goals.

It cited a national study conducted by the Families and Work Institute that found that today’s youth envisions a future that is not in step with today’s reality.

Currently, many men are still expected to sacrifice time at home with their children for their jobs.

“Often, men report that if they leave early for a parent-teacher conference or to take care of an ailing relative, the unspoken rules of the workplace assume work is not their top priority,” according to the Web site.

Wilson added, “Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work will ask the nation to re-examine these assumptions so our daughters and sons can be involved in both their family and work lives without the pressures of societal restraints.”

Ideally, Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day will encourage girls and boys to share ideas and expectations for their futures, and begin to erode the harmful gender stereotypes that remain embedded in our culture.

For more information about the University’s Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day events, call April Hardnett at 935-8107.