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RELEASE: ‘Make Life Work’ Campaign Launches to Address the Needs of Today’s Working Families and to Promote Realistic Solutions

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Contact: Chelsea Kiene
Phone: 202.478.5328
Email: ckiene@americanprogress.org

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

San Jose, CA — 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 United States. The joint initiative was announced on Saturday at the BlogHer Annual Conference by Stacy Morrison, Editor-in-Chief, BlogHer; Judith Warner, CAP Senior Fellow; 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 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, but attitudes and policy have not kept up with these changes. For example, in the United States today:

  • Only 30 percent of children have a stay-at-home parent
  • 40.9 percent of women are the breadwinners for their families, as opposed to 11.6 percent in 1967
  • 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

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 time.”

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. CAP, a progressive, nonpartisan think tank in Washington, D.C., will lend its 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 Warner. “Now, fortunately, that frame is shifting.”

“Overwhelming majorities of Americans believe that our government should help support families with measures such as 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, bisexual, and transgender  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 child care than on their monthly mortgage or rent payments.

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About BlogHer

BlogHer (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-plus engaging, original voices in social media, reaching an audience of 100 million readers 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 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 more than 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 United Kingdom, Canada, France, Spain, Italy, Japan, Maghreb, Germany, Brazil, and South Korea. The Huffington Post is part of AOL Inc. (NYSE: AOL).

To speak with our experts on this topic, please contact:

Print: Allison Preiss (economy, education, poverty)
202.478.6331 or apreiss@americanprogress.org

Print: Tom Caiazza (foreign policy, health care, energy and environment, LGBT issues, gun-violence prevention)
202.481.7141 or tcaiazza@americanprogress.org

Print: Chelsea Kiene (women's issues, Legal Progress, Half in Ten Education Fund)
202.478.5328 or ckiene@americanprogress.org

Spanish-language and ethnic media: Tanya Arditi (immigration, race and ethnicity)
202.741.6258 or tarditi@americanprogress.org

TV: Rachel Rosen
202.483.2675 or rrosen@americanprogress.org

Radio: Chelsea Kiene
202.478.5328 or ckiene@americanprogress.org