Hello, we are Story D. and Emma W. of Dual Spectrum. The logo for our team is a music note crossed with flag. This symbolizes me and her, I’m the music note for I am in band, and she is the flag for she is in color guard. We chose Dual Spectrum as our team name because it represents marching band, color guard, and the wide spectrum of colors included in both. We were chosen for this project because we, as females ourselves, feel that we have a duty to make the world recognise women properly in all ways. We also are friends with each other so the team work isn’t postponed by any awkward introductions.
We will be partnering with Texas Mother Friendly Worksite for this project. They are a wonderful organization who is working to certify companies and create spaces apart from bathrooms for working mothers to breastfeed. They currently have 2446 worksites already designated in the US and are hoping to add more to the growing list. You can go to their website to learn more about them: http://texasmotherfriendly.org/.
When we signed onto this project, we were given a current issue at the company that we would help solve over the course of the project. Our assigned problem is that the organization has a very long list of passionate advocates, but they have not reached out to them and therefore remain anonymous. We are also tasked with the issue of certified companies and organizations not posting the designations that they are mother friendly. However, when we went to look for statistics and proof that it does exist, we could find none. Our current issue is finding research about our project and gathering information alongside the facts provided by our partner organization. However, if we do solve this problem, the productivity in the female workforce would significantly increase. According to https://www.familyeducation.com/life/breastfeeding-while-working/breastfeeding-working-woman, a breast-fed baby is healthier, decreasing the amount of sick days taken for the child. In addition, the worker is less likely to leave as they will be a happier mother, which means a happier worker.
Some of you may be wondering, what does this have to do with your decision? Why did you choose this particular project, what sparked your interest? For me, it was family; I have an aunt who works at a law firm and has three kids. She has already gone through rough times with multiple maternity leaves, and was hindered at work because she had to take more hours off work to breastfeed. She still nurtured three beautiful children into really smart cookies, but had to move jobs because of the missed work days. If her employer had known about Texas Mother Friendly Worksite, and had gotten certified, they could have helped her to breastfeed without missing work, and she wouldn’t have had to leave. You may also be asking, why should I care, what does this have to do with me? People should care about this issue, because, according to https://www.dol.gov/oasam/programs/history/herman/reports/futurework/report/chapter3/main.htm, in 1940, 28 percent of American women were in the workforce, which rose to 60 percent in 1998. One in four became one in two.
If so many women are working, and raising children at the same time, then how are they to ensure that the next generation is better than the first? How if they’re working all the time and don’t have enough break time to breastfeed and nurture? Sure, it gets easier as the children grow, but only if the child gets proper nourishment and care in infancy.
So, next time you’re outside, in public or at work, take a look around you. Ask yourself, how many women around me are hard working mothers? How many of my colleagues have a child(ren) at home that don’t get enough attention? If one of your friends or coworkers has a child or infant, see what you can do to help them balance work and motherhood. Support them in notifying their employer or by providing the privacy they need to pump or breastfeed. Maybe by doing this, you can make their lives a little more manageable, and make the next generation ready and able to take on the world.