Morris women add to national talk on workplace issues
Members of the Impactful Women Association, based in Morris County, participated Thursday in a session
of the National Dialogue on Workplace Flexibility, an effort of the U.S. Department of Labor's Women's Bureau and the Obama Administration to heighten
awareness about the importance of the issue to businesses and families.
At an October White House forum on the issue,
President Obama said, “Workplace flexibility isn’t just a women’s issue. It’s
an issue that affects the well-being of our families and the success of our
The invitation-only event
will be held City University of New York's Graduate School and University
Center. The session was one of
10 held across the county since October
that have focused on four priority areas: Workplace flexibility, equal pay,
higher-paying jobs for women, and supporting women veterans who are homeless.
The Thursday session was be on
A 2009 wage study showed that
the median weekly earnings of women of full-time wage-and-hour salary workers was
$657, or 80 percent of men’s wage of $819.
"We are honored to have
been extended this invitation to engage in meaningful discussions that seek to
put forth measures that bring about flexibility in the workplace to support the
needs of American workers and their families," said Marisa Patawaran-
Tonnesen of Randolph, founder and president of Impactful Women
Impactful Women Association is an
exclusive membership organization located in Morris County for executives,
professional and entrepreneur women from New Jersey and New York who want to
make long-term relationships. The
association provides opportunities for thriving like-minded women of all
industries to network together while helping one another grow professionally
A report issued by the
president's Council of Economic Advisors determined there is a greater need for
flexibility in the workplace, based on the significant changes that have taken
place in the workplace. The changes include the growing number of women in the
workforce; rising number of working adults, ever-increasing eldercare
responsibilities and heightened importance of continuing education.
The 2010 White House
Flexibility Forum set key goals:
and exchange best practices, real stories and the newest research on the impact
of workplace flexibility;
knowledge base and base of support on flexibility by reaching out to new
partners and stakeholders; and
dialogue among employers and business owners on making flexibility work.
At that time, Obama said,
“we’re all familiar with the economic and demographic changes that have brought
us to this point -- how over the past generation or two, as costs have risen
and wages have lagged, many families have found they can no longer survive on
just one income. And at the same time, we’ve broken down barriers and opened up
opportunities, so more women have entered into the workforce, bringing home
paychecks that are increasingly critical to supporting families.”
Today, Obama said, two-thirds of American families with kids are headed by two
working parents or a single working parent, and the result is the rise of what
one expert I know refers to as “the juggler family.”
“For these families, every
day is a high wire act. Everything is scheduled right down to the minute.
There’s no room for error. If the car breaks down, or somebody gets sick, or
there’s a problem at school, that begins a cascading domino effect that leaves
everybody scrambling” Obama said
“This disconnect between the
needs of our families and the demands of our workplace also reflects a broader
problem, that today, we as a society still see workplace flexibility policies
as a special perk for women rather than a critical part of a workplace that can
help all of us,” he said.
But a report by the White House Council of Economic
Advisers found that companies with
flexible work arrangements can actually have lower turnover and absenteeism, higher
productivity, and healthier workers, the president said.
For information on the
Impactful Women Association visit www.impactfulwomen.com.