If you are reading this, you want things to be better for American parents. You want better parental leave, you want better childcare, you want flexibility. You are ready for change. And the good news is, the times they are *sort of* starting to do just that.
In June, the White House held a summit to discuss measures that would support working families. There were a series of proposals and ideas, including a Presidential memo proposing the right to request flexibility in federal agencies. In theory, this means managers must consider requests for flexibility without employees fearing for their jobs. The memo also recommended these agencies offer flexible options to the "maximum extent practicable."
This is great and moderately exciting news. It does present a problem that many of my clients find paralyzing. It came up twice in client sessions just this week. What this means is: YOU have to ASK. For many of us, that's much harder than it might seem.
I discuss this on the fabulous Broad Experience Podcast this week both on the podcast itself and on the blog too. Please hop over there to get deeper into the conversation. But here are a few actionable suggestions to tide you over in the meantime:
Take a macro view of your team/organization. What are the external factors that are impacting company strategy and leadership? How will your request reflect your understanding of the bigger picture in your field, industry, society at large?
Find Allies. Venture outside your usual circle of contacts to gain insights and tips from others who can help you build your case. (On that topic, I've recently partnered with local leaders in branding and advocacy to start a movement for culture change. We've brought 20+ parents together to rock the boat on multiple levels. Find us & join in!)
Creating solutions can be messy. Making change to culture does not happen quickly or without discomfort. It happens when you orchestrate conflict and initiate conversations that don't feel great at first. That's ok. Push on.