Part 2 in a Series of Features: Leaders Making History by Changing the Game for Working Parents.
The Rise of Employee Activists
Ten years ago, there were virtually no employee-led parents groups inside workplaces. Today, there are hundreds of them. And many of them are having a significant impact within their organizations.
Lori Mihalich-Levin started the US parent (now caregiver) affinity group at Dentons, the largest law firm in the world. While Lori was leading this group in their advocacy efforts, Dentons eliminated the “primary caregiver” distinction in its parental leave policy, adopted Milk Stork as a benefit for nursing mothers, and worked to ensure that all employees of the firm - not just lawyers -- had access to support and benefits.
Just like the other moms from the Parents’ in Tech Alliance, Lori was also eager to be in relationship to other leaders of parent employee resource groups. So she started the Working Parent Group Network (WPGN), which today includes 167 individuals representing 83 different organizations, in all different sectors—such as law, non-profit, CPGs, tech, fashion, accounting, consulting, banking, government, and more—and they meet regularly to learn and share with each other.
Last week, I met with dozens of members of the Working Parent Group Network at one of their regularly scheduled meetings. During our time together, I did what any person motivated to build a powerful case must do: I collected data.
Using Jamboard, I asked everyone to brag about the successes of their ERGs. What had their group been able to accomplish? As the colored sticky notes filled the screen, I felt my face, fingers, and toes begin to tingle.