Dear WFRN Members and Colleagues,

I am delighted to provide you with details of the WFRN’s virtual forums and opportunities for your involvement. Although the world has changed, WFRN’s commitment to furthering knowledge on pressing work-family issues, policies, and practices has not. Our guiding principle has been to design forums that members will find valuable and meaningful, rather than just checking-the-box that WFRN held a conference in 2020. Our virtual forums are intended to offer opportunities for WFRN members to engage with and learn from one another and to increase the impact of members’ research on work-family policy and practice.

The original theme for the 2020 conference, Advancing Equality at Work and Home: Strengthening Science and Collaboration, will continue to serve as an organizing principle for our virtual events. WFRN will host three types of on-line forums in 2020-2021. With the intent of fostering exchanges across the globe, times for events will vary, with some forums occurring midday in the Americas, and other events occurring midday in Europe/Africa and Asia/Australia. Recordings of all three types of forums will be available to members on the WFRN website and highlighted on the WFRN Research Feed.

(1) WFRN Plenaries. Plenaries are live events that focus specifically on issues central to the conference theme. Panelists will present research, as well as engage each other and attendees in virtual discussions. WFRN Plenaries will be held quarterly.

(2) WFRN Sessions. Sessions are live presentations of symposia, author-meets-readers encounters and workshops that were accepted for the June NYC conference, as well as individual paper submissions that will be grouped together specifically for the virtual conference format. WFRN sessions will occur once a month with multiple sessions staggered over two or three-hour windows so that participants can choose to attend more than one session at a virtual event.

(3) WFRN Showcases. Showcases are pre-recorded presentations of individual submissions that were accepted for the 2020 NYC conference as papers, posters or for roundtables. Participants of symposia/author-meets-readers/workshops can also choose to pre-record their contribution rather than presenting it live during a WFRN session. As with WFRN plenaries and sessions, pre-recorded WFRN showcases will be available to members on the WFRN website and highlighted on the WFRN Research Feed.

We hope that these new forums will serve as models for future years. On the membership survey conducted earlier this year, WFRN members suggested that WFRN create additional venues for interacting with one another, especially during non-conference years. As a pilot initiative, rather than just a temporary fix for the conference, we will be seeking your input and feedback throughout the year, and we are open to making adjustments as we go!

Thank you for your patience as we developed an alternative plan for the 2020 WFRN Conference. Please don’t hesitate to contact me ( or Stephen Sweet (Executive Officer; if you have questions.

Susan Lambert, President