Marching for the Future

by Emily Jasper on April 28, 2011

We’d like to think women can have it all. I may have even said something like that at one point. But in order to have it all, there need to be systems in place to help. If you think about, women were the support systems for years…so it’s only natural organizations do something in return.

I haven’t had to consider this yet, but many women are thinking about making changes in or choices about their professional careers because of motherhood. I remember watching the “Time Warp” episode of Grey’s Anatomy, and young Ellis Grey arguing with Richard that motherhood didn’t make her any less of a doctor. If you know the show, you know Ellis held her role as a surgeon in higher priority than her role as a mother. But was that because she was trying to have a career when you really did need to choose only one role?

Now, women want to work with companies who are able to support mothers and fathers by offering onsite childcare and leave benefits. Additionally, women are looking to companies to connect with the bigger picture about families. That could be through programs and education, and it can also be through connecting with causes such as the March of Dimes.

I can’t help but think how important this extension of corporate social responsibility will be for women in my generation. In fact, if I scroll through my Facebook news feed, about half of the updates are from friends who have become parents in the last few years. There are baby pictures, progress updates about pregnancies, polls about naming, and all kinds of stories about what the cute kids did when they got their hands on the pudding.

The March of Dimes has their own walk: the March for Babies. They’ve been running this walk since 1970, raising almost $2 billion to fund local programs to help bring healthy babies into the world. In fact, there’s a walk here in the New River Valley this weekend on April 30th.

If organizations are supporting the March for Babies, which in turns supports local programs, that company’s employees can see direct benefits. It isn’t a vague black hole that sucks up money, but instead you could see your pediatrician providing treatments and education that were developed by March of Dimes-funded research. Companies may talk about caring about the work-life balance and helping to put family back into the work equation, but you don’t always see it come to fruition. This might be an excellent program to show that you don’t just talk-the-talk, but also walk-the-walk.

I invite you to look at the March of Dimes and see how they may be helping your local community. Ask if your company can get involved, and see if by supporting these kinds of initiatives, we can all take up roles as caring parents for our future children.