Gender Diversity through equitable access to campus presence, research opportunities and resources

Submitted by skovik on Tue, 05/30/2023 - 8:46 PM

Harvard Business Review (2021) released a statement with findings across the pandemic: "Childcare is not a family issue, it is a business issue."  Working parents and particularly women workers need to leave work or reduce hours solely due to lack of childcare and inconsistent care support / lack of back-up care. RPI has done wonderfully in allowing HR to provide pinch-hitter options for back up care, but this system is limited to case-by-case appointments of single days only, which requires approval by a solo HR representative for any care support. Please, re-establish partnerships with local childcare providers that allow for RPI faculty and staff to have regular on- or near-campus child care for preschool children. Many of the school districts have only partial day Kindergarten (i.e. 7:30 bus and 10:30 return home), and lack spots for infant and toddler care. This complicates parents' return to work after recovery from birth and welcoming children into their homes; this inequity specifically harms women and young families. RPI can be a leader in targeting this inequity by offering child care or reduced price care options for its workers. Empowering women in the economy and closing gender gaps is critical for a more inclusive society and for happier workers, who want to throw their creative energies into their students and research to uplift RPI's community and rigorous programs. Harvard (2021) argues “gender roles still loom large in household decision-making.” Please, make this investment to make child-care part of RPI’s infrastructure, to ensure the health and success of all of your faculty and staff.

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