Advocating for Family-Friendly Benefits

Activity Description:

Author: Catherine White Berheide, Skidmore College


This paper serves as a culmination of your work this semester. Drawing on your interviews, the data the class collected on the family-friendly benefits of employers in the United States, and the course readings, develop  a proposal for making the employer of your choosing (either real or fictitious) into a family friendly workplace. To write this proposal, you will need to draw heavily on your previous papers (although I strongly advise you to rewrite them before including them in this paper).


In the first section of your proposal, you need to identify what the problem is. To write this section, you need to draw heavily on the course readings and your previous interviews and/or new ones. Be sure to consider it from the point of view of the employees who are parents (or prospective parents) as well as those who are not (but might have other family concerns such as an elderly parent) and from the point of view of your company.

In the second section, you need to describe the range of options that are either in place here or abroad or have been proposed for making workplaces in the United States family-friendly. To increase the likelihood that your proposal will be adopted, you want to highlight which kinds of family friendly benefits are being adopted by which kinds of employing organizations.

Finally, in the last section, you want to indicate which family-friendly benefits you recommend your employing organization adopt. As in the previous paper, the company can be a real one, perhaps one you studied for your second paper or it could be a company for which one of the parents you interviewed works, or it could be a company of your own creation.

The paper can be up to ten pages long (typed and double-spaced with normal margins and type font), but top executives are more likely to read short reports, so brevity is a virtue. Include a reference page listing any of the course readings referred to in the paper. Footnote (using the internal citation format) any direct quotations or paraphrasing. Be sure you cite the exact reading to which you are referring and not the editors of the book from which the reading comes.

Activity Source:

Adapted by Jane Case from Berheide, C.W. (2006). “Work, Family, and Organizations” Syllabus.