Take your daughter to work day
take your daughter to work day

“Take Our Daughters To Work Day” was born in New York in 1992 and was created by the president of the Ms. Foundation for Women, by Daren Ball, treasurer, and with the support of Gloria Steinem, also one of the founders of Ms. Foundation for Women.

The first celebration took place on April 22, 1993, and since then it is celebrated every year on the fourth Thursday of April. In the US, about 37 million children, parents and schools; and over 3.5 million companies and participants from more than 200 countries worldwide, plan this annual event.
In 2003, the program ceased to be exclusive to girls, and began including boys, although most of the companies that participated in this event accepted girls and boys from the start.

What happens on this day

The idea behind this day is that parents invite their children to spend the day with them at work so they can, not only see what their parents do, but also understand and become familiarized with the world of work. However, companies can open their doors to any children who would like to know more about what is going on in these companies, and therefore expose them to professions that they usually can’t access.
In addition to the inclusion of boys, the Ms. Foundation mentions that the program aims to work on children’s self-esteem, especially female ones, although it currently includes all children.

How this idea was born

This idea emerged in the United States in the 1990s. At this time, women were moving towards higher positions and higher salaries. Law professor Anita Hill testified at the Supreme Court in 1991, during the Clarence Thomas hearing, and changed the way Americans talked about harassment in the workplace, helping to drive a historic victory at the House of Representatives, where women went from 4 to 24 seats. 1992 became known as the Year of the Woman.

Marie C. Wilson, president of the Ms. Foundation for Women, told Time Magazine that this day was a direct result of this historical period. She also said it was influenced by Carol Gilligan research, which showed how girls began to lose track of who they were as they became teenagers – thinking, talking and saying what they felt. At this stage in life, boys were not questioned about anything, and girls were questioned about everything, thus losing their sense of identity.

At the time, the Ms. Foundation hired a consultant, Nell Merlino, who told a story about a girl attending university, a university that got her an internship in an incredible location in New York. The girl went to the building for her internship and couldn’t go in. She felt intimidated and went home. They sent her back a second time and she went a little further, up to the stairs, but she was unable to climb them. Finally, the person she had been working with at the university went with her and took her straight to the person she was supposed to meet the first time – she got the internship and everything worked out!

With this story, Carol Gilligan realized the great importance of supporting girls, so they are able to maintain their confidence and sense of identity. At the Ms. Foundation, they tried to figure out how to make this happen in the workplace. What if, one day, they could get people to pay attention to girls this way? So they came up with a day that included an event on the subject, in New York. During this meeting, Gloria Steinem stopped by the foundation while they were discussing this idea, on her way to a talk at Parade magazine and she ended up talking about "Take Our Daughters to Work Day" to the magazine and that’s how it became a bigger idea than just an event in New York, taking on a much greater scope, until it was celebrated worldwide.

Why you should celebrate this day

This is an excellent day for girls to see other women in different positions of power, responsibility, creativity... Which means that the idea is to encourage girls and boys to dream without any gender limitations and to think imaginatively about their family, work and community life.

How to celebrate and encourage this day

This day is celebrated during the week, so that children can share their experiences with their colleagues at school the next day.
1. Take your children to work with you.
2. If you don’t have children, bring a niece or nephew, or a friend’s child to work with you.
3. Have projects and activities prepared so that the children don’t get bored.
4. If you have a company, encourage your employees to bring their kids to work with them on this day.
5. If you're an educator, teacher or school director, look into how you can connect with the companies of your students' parents, in order to make this day happen.
Note: Be sure to inform your coworkers about this day, so that the office space can be organized and made appropriate for receiving children.

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