Corporate Voices for Working Families and Working Mother Media Honor “Best of Congress”

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Bipartisan Group of 30 Lawmakers Saluted for Improving the Lives of Working Families

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As the wide diversity of this year’s class shows, support for working parents can unite policymakers across ideological lines.

Today, Corporate Voices for Working Families and Working Mother Media announced the thirty recipients of the 2012 Best of Congress Award, celebrating lawmakers from both sides of the aisle and across the country for their leadership in improving the quality of life for working families.

This year’s recognition is timely, coming on the heels of a renewed national debate about the challenges of balancing work and family responsibilities. Last week’s appointment of a highly credentialed 37-year-old chief executive at Yahoo!—one who happens to be expecting her first child this fall—fueled the conversation, while inviting charges of sexism in news coverage of female business leaders. And a recent magazine article suggesting women still “can’t have it all” ignited passions on all sides.

In addition to spotlighting Congressional excellence in supporting working families through legislation and advocacy, the Best of Congress awards recognize those lawmakers who demonstrate their commitment on a personal level by actively promoting family-friendly policies for their own Congressional staff. Recipients of the Best of Congress Award are profiled in the August/September 2012 issue of Working Mother magazine and at workingmother.com. Their model workplace policies are detailed by Corporate Voices, and will be promoted as practices to emulate in materials provided to new members of the 113th session of Congress in January.

“When we launched this prestigious recognition in 2008, we wanted to elevate the discussion and policy debate on working family issues, and we wanted to demonstrate that these are not partisan issues,” said Donna Klein, CEO and Executive Chair of Corporate Voices. “As the wide diversity of this year’s class shows, support for working parents can unite policymakers across ideological lines.”    

“Most people don't realize that our Congressional representatives each set their own policies for the staff they employ,” noted Carol Evans, president of Working Mother Media. “Those who allow their employees flexible work arrangements and paid family leave are leading by example. Working Mother wants all Senators and Representatives to provide exemplary support for their employees and their working mom and dad constituents,” she added. “We are very proud of the 2012 Best of Congress winners!”

Recipients of the 2012 Best of Congress Award are:

U.S. Senate
o    Michael Bennet (CO)
o    Sherrod Brown (OH)
o    Robert Casey (PA)
o    Mike Crapo (ID)
o    Kirsten Gillibrand (NY)
o    Kay Bailey Hutchison (TX)
o    Herbert Kohl (WI)
o    Patty Murray (WA)

U.S. House of Representatives
o    Tammy Baldwin (WI-2)
o    Russ Carnahan (MO-3)
o    Susan Davis (CA-53)
o    Rosa DeLauro (CT-3)
o    Jeff Denham (CA-19)
o    Chaka Fattah (PA-2)
o    Raul Grijalva (AZ-7)
o    Carolyn Maloney (NY-25)
o    Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA-5)
o    Kristi Noem (SD-1)
o    Erik Paulsen (MN-3)
o    Ed Perlmutter (CO-7)
o    Dave Reichert (WA-8)
o    Peter Roskam (IL-6)
o    C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger (MD-2)
o    Linda Sanchez (CA-39)
o    Allyson Schwartz (PA-13)
o    Adam Smith (WA-9)
o    Pete Stark (CA-15)
o    Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-20)
o    Lynn Woolsey (CA-6)
o    John Yarmuth (KY-3)

This year’s applicants were judged on several important criteria: Their voting record, sponsorship of legislation, constituent casework, and other activities that demonstrate their commitment to improving the lives of working families. They also were asked to submit employment policies and practices within their own offices that support working parents and flexible workplace options.
Applications were reviewed by a bipartisan steering committee co-chaired by Arianna Huffington, President and Editor‐in‐Chief of The Huffington Post Media Group and the Honorable Jane Swift, CEO of Middlebury Interactive Languages and former Governor of Massachusetts. Other steering committee members are the Honorable Pat Schroeder, former Congresswoman from Colorado and former president and CEO of the Association of American Publishers; Ted Childs, Founder and Principal of Ted Childs, LLC; and Patricia Kempthorne, President of the Twiga Foundation.

The 2012 Best of Congress Awards program is generously supported by AOL, Abbott Nutrition, Accenture, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP, the American Council of Life Insurers, Baxter International Inc., H-E-B, KPMG LLP, Walmart and Workplace Options.

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About Corporate Voices for Working Families
Corporate Voices for Working Families is the leading national business membership organization shaping conversations and collaborations on public and corporate policy issues involving working families. A nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, we create and advance innovative policy solutions that reflect a commonality of interests among the private sector, government, and other stakeholders. We are a unique voice, and we provide leading and best-practice employers a forum to improve the lives of working families, while strengthening our nation’s economy and enhancing the vitality of our communities. Visit us at http://www.corporatevoices.org or @Twitter.com/corporatevoices

About Working Mother Media
Working Mother magazine reaches more than 2 million readers and is the only national magazine for career-committed mothers; Workingmother.com gives working mothers @home and @work advice, solutions, and ideas. This year marks the 27th anniversary of the magazine’s signature research initiative, Working Mother 100 Best Companies, and the 10th year of the Best Companies for Multicultural Women. Working Mother Media, a division of Bonnier Corporation (bonnier.com), includes the National Association for Female Executives (nafe.com ) Diversity Best Practices (diversitybestpractices.com), and the Working Mother Research Institute. Working Mother Media’s mission is to serve as a champion of culture change. Visit us at workingmother.com or @Twitter.com/_workingmother_

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Dorian Friedman

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