“Make Life Work” Campaign Launches to Address the Needs of Today's Working Families & Promote Realistic Solution

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BlogHer, Inc., The Center for American Progress and The Huffington Post Launch Platform to Highlight Work/Life Conflicts Faced by the Changing American Family

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In response to the increasing conflict between work and family life Americans face today, BlogHer, The Center for American Progress and The Huffington Post are teaming up to launch “Make Life Work,” a campaign to raise awareness and promote real solutions to the difficulties faced by families across the U.S. The joint initiative was announced on Saturday at the BlogHer Annual Conference by Stacy Morrison, Editor-in-Chief, BlogHer; Judith Warner, Senior Fellow, The Center for American Progress; and Arianna Huffington, President and Editor-in-Chief, The Huffington Post Media Group.

“These are issues with a deep personal resonance for me as a mother,” said Arianna Huffington. “At HuffPost, when it comes to the issues facing the American family, we’re committed to using all the tools at our disposal with the goal of not just telling stories but changing lives. This partnership will allow us to double down on that commitment.”

Rapidly changing demographics, workforce participation and family makeup have created seismic shifts in American households, yet attitudes and policy have not kept up with these changes. For example, in the United States today:

  • Only 30% of children have a stay-at-home parent (1)
  • 40.9% of women are the breadwinners for their families, as opposed to 11.6% in 1967 (2)
  • Fathers expect to participate and share in the tasks of child rearing, and they are doing so at a rate almost three times what it was in 1965 (3)

That demographic reality comes to life in a preview of BlogHer's upcoming 6th annual Women and Social Media Study, sponsored by Ketchum. The Study reveals that the women who report the highest levels of time starvation are actually those with the most traditional family unit—two parents and children—and that what is sacrificed under such time pressure is personal health and fitness, a choice with serious long-term ramifications for the American health care system, the economy and ultimately the health of future generations.

“I have had a front-row seat to the increasing pressures on the American family,” said Stacy Morrison, “from when I started as the former editor in chief of Redbook magazine in 2004 to now, when I see BlogHer's community members openly share their struggles to have sane, normal family lives. I am thrilled to be partnering with two powerhouses to bring the voices of the blogosphere and beyond to bear on this defining issue of our times.”

BlogHer and The Huffington Post will create content hubs to support a rich body of work and social conversation around the issues of work/life conflict, featuring the voices of average Americans from a broad variety of households, as well as the decision-makers who are driving solutions. The Center for American Progress, a progressive, nonpartisan think tank in Washington, DC, will lend their extensive knowledge and research on these topics in companion pieces, represented by Judith Warner, a recognized expert on the changing American family and author of “Perfect Madness: Motherhood in the Age of Anxiety.”

“For too long, work-life conflict has been framed as a private problem that individual men and women need to face, and solve, on their own,” said Judith Warner. “Now, fortunately, that frame is shifting.”

“Overwhelming majorities of Americans believe that our government should help support families with measures like paid leave, access to high-quality early childhood education, and the right to access flexible work arrangements,” said Neera Tanden, President of the Center for American Progress. “’Make Life Work’ will offer a unique opportunity to show how those desires can be made into realities, through both public policy and private sector workplace change.”

“Make Life Work” aims to show that there are workable solutions that do not overtax business, but instead strengthen both our workforce and our economy overall, focusing on three key solutions that have popular and political momentum:

  • Paid Parental Leave: With the shift in family makeup – adoptive families, gay and lesbian families, stay-at-home-father families and the like -- now becoming the norm in America, paid family leave is no longer a luxury; it is a necessity. America cannot afford to be the last developed country to adopt this policy.
  • The Right To Request Flexibility: The majority of Americans do not have access to flexible work arrangements. It’s time to change the dialogue between workers and employees, acknowledging that workers need flexibility to manage certain life and family issues, such as caregiving, medical issues and more.
  • Universal Pre-K: Introducing children to a school environment as early as possible results in cognitive, behavioral and academic gains that translate into better success and graduation rates. Universal Pre-K also helps shorten the time period during which families have to find affordable full-time care, a critical issue when many American households are spending more on childcare than on their monthly mortgage or rent payments.

About BlogHer
BlogHer (http://www.blogher.com) is the leading cross-platform media network created by, for and with women in social media. BlogHer delivers quality advocacy at scale for brands seeking to engage in authentic and persuasive dialogue with moderated communities led by more than 3,000 quality bloggers and 12,500+ engaging, original voices in social media, reaching an audience of 100 million across premium blogs, Pinterest™, Facebook®, and Twitter™. Founded in February 2005 by Elisa Camahort Page, Jory Des Jardins and Lisa Stone, BlogHer publishes and syndicates news, information, advice, recommendations and research on women in social media across interest areas as well as on BlogHer.com. The Company also hosts the world’s largest conferences for women in social media.

About The Center for American Progress
The Center for American Progress is an independent nonpartisan educational institute dedicated to improving the lives of Americans through progressive ideas and action.
Building on the achievements of progressive pioneers such as Teddy Roosevelt and Martin Luther King, CAP’s work addresses 21st century challenges such as energy, national security, economic growth and opportunity, immigration, education, and health care. A major focus of CAP’s work is exploring policy solutions that can ensure that everyone—men and women, parents and non-parents alike—is able to meet the challenges of today’s workplace, while being able to provide care for their family. Founded in 2003 by John Podesta to provide long-term leadership and support to the progressive movement, CAP is headed by Neera Tanden and based in Washington, D.C.

About The Huffington Post
The Huffington Post is a Pulitzer Prize-winning source of breaking news, features, and entertainment, as well as a highly engaged community for opinion and conversation. The Huffington Post has 97.5 million monthly global unique visitors (comScore, May 2014). The site has over 70,000 bloggers -- from politicians, students and celebrities to academics, parents and policy experts -- who contribute in real-time on the subjects they are most passionate about. The Huffington Post has editions in the UK, Canada, France, Spain, Italy, Japan, Maghreb, Germany, Brazil and South Korea. The Huffington Post is part of AOL Inc. (NYSE: AOL).

(1) “This is not the 1970s,” Twitter photo, (Washington: Center for American Progress, 2014) available at https://twitter.com/amprog/status/476364416334565376/photo/1.

(2) Sarah Jane Glynn, “Breadwinning Mothers, Then and Now,” (Washington: Center for American Progress, 2014) available at http://cdn.americanprogress.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/Glynn-Breadwinners-report-FINAL.pdf.

(3) Kim Parker and Wendy Wang, "Modern Parenthood: Roles of Moms and Dads Converge as They Balance Work and Family,” (Washington: Pew Research Social & Demographic Trends, 2013), available at http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/files/2013/03/FINAL_modern_parenthood_03-2013.pdf.

Huffington Post:
Amanda Schumacher, 917-510-5077, amanda(dot)schumacher(at)huffingtonpost(dot)com

Julie Zappelli, 415-684-9564, BlogHer(at)innercirclelabs(dot)com

The Center for American Progress:
Madeline Meth, madeline(dot)meth(at)gmail(dot)com

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