- Take our daughters and sons to work day encourages parents to bring their children with them to work in order to expose young students to career opportunities and to highlight the importance of education.
- This year, the celebration will take place April 22, and the Ms. Foundation for Women created a virtual program accessible from anywhere.
- Here are five tips to help you participate successfully in this year’s event.
For the past 28 years, companies across the United States have seen a significant decrease in the average age at their workplaces one day each year, and for good reason. Since 1993, on the fourth Thursday in April, millions of companies and their employees have given children a glimpse into the working world during Take Our Daughters And Sons To Work® Day.
First created as Take Our Daughters to Work Day by the Ms. Foundation for Women in New York City, this event encourages parents to bring their children with them to work in order to expose young students to career opportunities and to highlight the importance of education.
Each year, the Take Our Daughters And Sons to Work Foundation creates programming for employers, educators, and parents to help celebrate and participate in the event. Although the COVID-19 pandemic put a halt to in-person plans for the event in 2020, the foundation created a virtual program accessible from anywhere for this year’s event on April 22, 2021 in partnership with VirtualJobShadow. This year’s theme is Boldly Moving Forward
“We have created a program with content focused on children and their teachers to allow them to participate from school, home, or wherever they are,” says TODASTW Executive Director Carolyn McKecuen. “Participants will enjoy live appearances from iconic keynotes Gloria Steinem and Gitanjali Rao, engaging videos that highlight more than 15 up-and-coming careers across five different fields, Q&A sessions, plus fun interactive features.”
The programming organized by the TODASTW Foundation is designed around their commitment to children to build on the imagination of what is possible in the workplace, create access to career opportunities, contribute to the future of a diverse and inclusive workplace, and promote educational preparation.
Interested in how you can participate with your own children or through your workplace? Here are 5 tips to successfully participate, in person or virtually:
1. Talk to your colleagues.
Successful Take Your Daughters And Sons To Work events have workplace buy in, whether the workplace is a large corporate office or an independent coworking space. Talk to colleagues and managers about participating and how it can be done company wide for maximum positive impact.
2. Set expectations and ground rules.
Not all children will be able to participate in a full day event, so keep that in mind when deciding how long the event should be. Younger children in particular may not be able to stay engaged for more than an hour or two, and that’s okay. Just plan accordingly, and preferably with snacks included in the plan.
On the other side, some workplaces aren’t suitable in all areas for children, so safety considerations should also be taken into account. If there are areas of your workplace that need to be off limits, make sure to communicate that with all participants and set clear guidelines and rules about having children on site during the event to ensure a positive experience for all.
3. Make it real.
Activities should include more than just a tour or sitting around a lobby or break room while the adults continue to work. Include the children in the operations for the day. This can be done by creating workshops or activities that simulate real business functions or letting children take the reins with more hands-on activities. Showcase as many parts of the business as possible to expose the children to the possibilities that exist based on their interests.
4. Make it fun.
Will this be a normal work day? Absolutely not. It should be somewhat disruptive to the business, but in a way that is fun for all participants, adults and children alike. The more creative the activity, the better. Keep in mind what the world looks like to a child and let their interests take the lead.
5. Invite and adopt groups of children for the day.
Not everyone has children, and not every child has parents that are able to take them to their work or one in line with the child’s interests. Work with local schools and childcare groups to adopt groups of children for the day that can be invited to your workplace to participate and shadow workers.
Taking Your Daughters And Sons To Work Day is a great way to help the workforce of the next generation discover a world of career opportunities that will inspire them to pursue their passions. To learn more about this year’s event or how to plan for next year, visit the official fondation website at: DaughtersAndSonsToWork.org.