1 Million for Work Flexibility has more than 100 organizations on board to date as part of our coalition—and counting. We’re pleased to share more information about our supporter Make It Work in today’s “Spotlight On…” post.
For many families, making it work just isn’t a reality. Between out of reach child care costs, the gender pay gap, and the lack of paid leave or sick days, it’s truly difficult for hard-working families to earn the income they deserve and still be able to have a good quality of life outside of the workplace.
The goal of Make It Work is just that… to make it work for millions of Americans who struggle to stay afloat in a sea of competing demands. Make It Work is a national campaign dedicated to helping working families (and in particular working women and women of color) by advocating for policies that meet their needs. Via on-the-ground campaign efforts, online outreach, as well as media and pop-culture-focused campaigns, Make It Work is focused on generating solutions for working families. And one of the goals of the non-partisan advocacy arm of Make It Work called Make It Work Action is to hold public officials accountable to everyday folks.
Current stats suggest that a woman working full-time is paid 80 cents for every dollar paid to a man. That’s a staggering $11,000 annually in lost wages. And it gets worse—African-American women are paid just 63 cents per dollar paid to white men, and for Latina women it’s 54 cents. Make It Work is campaigning to have the minimum wage raised from its current $7.25 to $15 per hour, to help shrink the gender wage gap by at least 5 percent. They also advocate for a public database that will show how much employers pay for various jobs broken down by sex, race, and ethnicity (while protecting individual privacy).
Make It Work supports affordable and quality preschool and child care options for working parents. Two-thirds of women struggle to balance work and family needs, and more than half (58 percent) state that the lack of quality child care is partly to blame. Plus, more than 60 percent of adults who need long-term care depend upon family or friends to act as caregivers—and more often than not, that role falls upon women. That’s why Make It Work supports a bold child care solution to make child care affordable for all working families and strives to have quality, affordable long-term health care options for those in need, as well as support for caregivers. Make It Work wants to raise caregivers’ salaries to at least $15/hour to ensure quality care, and ensure preschool for all three and four-year-olds. Plus, those who stay home to provide care should receive Social Security credit for the time they take out of the paid workforce.
Work and Family
Under this umbrella are a myriad of issues facing workers, such as having to make impossible choices between the family you love and earning a living. Nearly three-quarters of people state that an illness or a new baby would cause them financial problems. While the Family and Medical Leave Act guarantees certain employees up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave, that’s just it—it’s unpaid. And many people (nearly two in five) are not eligible for paid sick days from their employer—and some are fired for taking days off due to illness. Make It Work wants to make sure people can take at least 12 weeks of paid time to care for new babies, close family with serious illnesses and their own health issues and earn at least seven paid sick days annually for less serious illnesses and preventive care. Plus, an estimated three-quarters of women expect to be pregnant and employed at some point during their careers. Pregnant women as well as new moms returning to the workforce need appropriate accommodations.
Make It Work advocates for expanded work flexibility via the proposed Schedules That Work Act, which would ensure employees have the right to request both flexible and predictable work schedules.
“1 Million for Work Flexibility understands that making it work requires flexibility and predictability so that everyone can care for themselves and their families AND earn a living. No one should have to choose,” said Make it Work Policy Director Julie Kashen. “Make it Work is proud to partner with 1 Million for Workplace Flexibility in support of changing workplace culture and make flexibility a reality.” Make It Work urges people to call on public officials to support policies that will ensure that everyone can make it work.