A Sponsored Initiative

Advising on Private and Public Sector Policy

Since the ‘90s our research, conferences, and innovative initiatives in education and organizational change have led to active engagement in contributing to policy discussions and debates.

LETTER TO PRESIDENT & CONGRESS IN SUPPORT OF PAID LEAVE

In March 2021, Stew Friedman and Vicki Shabo, a senior fellow for paid leave policy and strategy at New America, organized a letter — signed by  almost 300 business and management school faculty from schools in nearly all 50 states — sent to the President and to Congress urging prioritization of national paid family and medical leave as an economic and business imperative, part of a care infrastructure.  “As we rebuild in the pandemic’s wake,” said Friedman, “paid family and medical leave is an economic necessity for working families that stimulates growth, strengthens our competitiveness, promotes gender equity, and reduces racial disparities. Let us be a leader among nations, and not a laggard, in giving all workers and businesses access to paid leave. Now is the time!”

The March 2021 letter argues that national policy modeled on state programs would establish a baseline that would allow every worker and business the certainty of access to paid leave. Evidence from states, the private sector, and international examples show the value of this policy for workers and businesses. It follows a similar initiative when, in 2015, Friedman and Shabo marshaled a letter to Congress from more than 200 U.S. business and management school faculty in support of the FAMILY ACT. The initiative was widely covered in the press, including in the Washington Post, Bloomberg, and CNN.

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE

In both 2013 and 2020 Friedman spoke at the U.S. State Department about the application of Total Leadership principles and methods for improving productivity and reducing stress for its staff worldwide.

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF LABOR

In 2011 Friedman was the opening keynote speaker at the U.S. Department of Labor’s National Dialogues on Workplace Flexibility conference in New York.

WHITE HOUSE FORUM ON WORKPLACE FLEXIBILITY

In 2010 Friedman was invited to attend the White House Forum on Workplace Flexibility, hosted by the President and First Lady. He was among the small handful of academics invited to participate in this forum.  Afterwards he was interviewed on ABC News about the historic significance of this conference.  At the White House he discussed the Wharton course in a session with Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis. (View minutes 43.40-47.15 and 79.30-80.42 for Friedman’s comments.)

UNITED NATIONS

In 2010 Friedman was invited to speak at an Expert’s Forum at the United Nations and to consult to that organization on initiatives to transform the workplace to make it more hospitable for women.

AMERICAN PSYCHOLOGICAL ASSOCIATION

In 2003 Friedman was asked by American Psychological Association President Diane Halpern to contribute to a task force she created on bringing work/life research to bear on policy and practice, and he served as moderator for a panel on child care at the APA annual meetings that year.

VP AL GORE

Our early contributions in the work/life field were recognized when Stew Friedman was asked to participate in an eight-member task force on designing a national work-family conference, Vice President Al Gore’s Family Reunion V: Family and Work Expert’s Forum, held in Nashville in 1996. He met numerous times with the Vice President and Friedman was one of four panelists in a session that he moderated at the conference.

ADVISORY BOARD SERVICE

Since 1997 Stew Friedman has served on the Advisory Board of Bright Horizons Family Solutions, the world’s leading provider of on-site corporate child care, and the Sloan Foundation Work/Life Research Network. Since 2013 Friedman has served on Deloitte’s Inclusion Advisory Council.

LECTURES AND WORKSHOPS

Members of the W/LIP team have given lectures and workshops for many different organizations, domestically and internationally.   We have presented the policy and practice implications of our research to colleagues in professional development workshops, symposia, and papers at the Academy of Management Meetings and in seminars at numerous institutions.