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Drive Family Friendly: UH Symposium Addresses Gaps in Employer Support for Work/Family Balance

It’s true that having children changes everything. A symposium at the University of Houston urges Texas employers and legislators to change more. “Drive FAMILY Friendly: Family Friendly Policy in Texas” is a daylong symposium that addresses the need for innovation around work/life balance in Texas, at the business and legislative policy levels.

The event is 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 14, at the UH Athletic/Alumni Center. It is free and open to the public. Check-in begins at 8 a.m. Register by emailing wost@uh.edu or calling 713-743-3214. A continental breakfast is provided. An optional lunch is available for $5. Parking is $3.

“In a recent state-by-state analysis of parental leave programs, Texas earned a grade of ‘F’ for providing no family friendly programs for its workers,” said Elizabeth Gregory, director of the UH Women’s Studies Program. “This symposium will look at such issues as the accessibility and affordability of good child and elder care, workplace flexibility, funding family and medical leave, employment discrimination based on marital status, and changing the culture in Texas around support for families. We aim to raise the level of discussion of these vital issues among Houstonians and to move toward change at a state level.”

Ellen Bravo, author and coordinator of the Multi-state Working Families Consortium, will be the keynote speaker and will discuss the importance of work/family balance and how employers and legislators around the nation are innovating to support that balance. Two panel discussions will explore business and state policy solutions for Texas. Panelists will include: Rep. Garnet Coleman, Rep. Ellen Cohen, Sul Ross (Collaborative for Children), Sasha Rasco (Texas Child Care Licensing), Elena Marks (Houston Mayor’s Office), DeeDee Guzman (JP Morgan Chase) and Anne Reeckmann (ExxonMobil). Humorist Louise Parsley will be the lunchtime speaker.

The “Drive FAMILY Friendly” symposium is made possible by grants from Tenneco, Inc., the University Commission on Women, and the Friends of Women’s Studies.

For more information, visit www.friendsofwomen.org.

WHAT: Drive FAMILY Friendly: Family Friendly Policy in Texas
WHEN: Wednesday, Nov. 14
8 a.m. Check-in
9 a.m. Keynote speaker Ellen Bravo, author and advocate for working families
10-12 noon, Panels
12-1 p.m. Lunch
1 p.m. The Way Forward (group discussion, led by Ellen Bravo)
WHERE: UH Alumni/Athletic Center
For directions and parking information, visit www.uh.edu/campus_map/buildings/AAF.html

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