February 27, 2013
The decision by Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer to end the option for Yahoo! employees to work at home should matter to all working families and businesses. In one move by a highly visible executive and company, the decision threatens advances made over the last several decades in the workplace that have benefited working families and strengthened the competitiveness of American businesses. At the same time, Mayer’s decision underscores that workplace flexibility works when employers and workers benefit – and if it isn’t working for one side, flexibility may not be right for that company.
Both extensive Corporate Voices for Working Families’ research and the policies of our best-practice companies point to the fact that workplace flexibility options make a big difference for employees and their families and for the businesses that adopt these policies as a strategic management imperative. When companies provide options that help employees strike a balance between work and family, morale and productivity increases – and businesses benefit from less turnover and a more dedicated and productive workforce. Likewise, businesses find that these policies are critical management tools that enhance recruitment, retention, engagement, cost control, productivity, and ultimately, financial performance.
Businesses, working on behalf of all stakeholders, must continue to take the lead to promote and implement programs and policies that improve the lives of working families, while making our economy more vigorous and our nation more prosperous. When a prominent company such as Yahoo! turns back the clock on a flexible work option like working from home (that we know benefits working families and the business bottom line), it helps to create an environment ripe for new federal and state government employer mandates. That’s a setback for those businesses that strategically manage their organizations in the best interests of their employees and their own profitability and competitiveness.
Yahoo! is in a tough business, and the company’s stated desire to foster greater innovation and teamwork across its workforce is certainly laudable. Yet in our view, Mayer didn’t have to pick between telecommuting and better performance, when a management strategy promoting workplace flexibility would have given her both outcomes.
Corporate Voices’ research studies and best-practice case studies concerning flexible work options are available at http://www.cvworkingfamilies.org/publications/workplaceflex
February 14, 2013
Domestic policy was front and center during the first State of the Union Address of President Obama’s second term. The President spent most of his speech calling for tax and entitlement reform, spending on education and energy, gun control and immigration reform. One item of particular importance to Corporate Voices and its partner companies was the President’s call for linking education with the demands of an evolving skills-based workforce.
He highlighted the need for America to redesign its high schools to improve the link between education and the skills employers are looking for. After noting that German students graduate from high school with the equivalent of a technical degree from a U.S. community college, the President praised the work Corporate Voices’ partner company IBM is doing through its Pathways in Technology Early College High School (P-TECH). P-TECH is a grade 9 through 14 school that produces students with both a high school diploma and an associate’s degree in technology. The curriculum was developed in close collaboration with the New York public schools, the City University of New York and IBM, to provide students with the skills required for entry-level positions at IBM.
Calling on others to follow suit, President Obama promised the Department of Education will create incentives for schools that form new partnerships with colleges or employers, or develop science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) classes geared toward high-tech jobs. Corporate Voices is already highlighting many of these partnerships and success stories through its Learn and Earn initiative and its work with Year Up in the New Options Project.
The 113th Congress will soon begin to sort through issues such as reauthorization of the Workforce Investment Act and the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. Corporate Voices is well positioned to offer the business case on why partnerships such as P-TECH succeed and are necessary for helping to ensure our nation’s young adults are prepared with the skills needed in the 21st-century workforce. In collaboration with Year Up, Corporate Voices has already distributed a list of its policy priorities for the 113th Congress.
If you are a Corporate Voices member company and want to lend your voice to shaping education and workforce policy by joining the Corporate Voices Public Policy Task Force, please contact Nathan Constable (firstname.lastname@example.org). We hope to hold the first policy call in March following the 2013 Annual Partners Meeting.
January 31, 2013
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At our annual meeting in March, Corporate Voices will be joined by three leaders of The Campaign to Fix the Debt for a lively discussion on the country’s debt crisis, the threat it poses to our global competitiveness and prosperity–and how U.S. companies must be involved in the solutions. The Campaign is a nonpartisan movement to put America on a better fiscal and economic path. It has been busy mobilizing key communities–including many prominent business leaders–and individuals from a variety of social, economic and political perspectives who want to see elected officials step up to solve our nation’s enormous fiscal challenges.
Panelists will include:
- Former U.S. Congressman Victor Fazio, who served for 20 years as a member of Congress, representing California’s 3rd District. During his tenure of distinguished public service, Hon. Fazio was appointed to the House Appropriations Committee, serving as a subcommittee chairman or ranking member for 18 years. He was chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. Hon. Fazio is currently Senior Advisor at Corporate Voices’ member company, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP.
- Former U.S. Congressman Jim Nussle represented the state of Iowa for 16 years in the U.S. House of Representatives before he served for President George W. Bush as the Director of the White House Office of Management and Budget. As the current president and chief operating officer of Growth Energy, a trade association made up of America ethanol companies and industry partners who are committed to the promise of growing America’s economy through renewable energy, Rep. Nussle focuses his efforts developing creative policy approaches and proactive grassroots advocacy.
The two will be moderated by Frank Micciche, Chief of Staff at Fix the Debt. Previously, Mr. Micciche worked at McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP where he specialized in developing and implementing public policy strategies for clients working to help states and the federal government innovate in the area of health care – with a particular focus on the establishment of health insurance exchanges.
The Annual Meeting, themed Corporate Leadership Beyond the Workplace, will be held March 20-22, 2013, in Washington, DC. Register online today! Hotel reservations can be made at The Madison Hotel by calling 1.800.424.8577. Mention Corporate Voices’ room block to receive your discounted rate. If you have further questions, please email email@example.com.
January 24, 2013
Jim Quigley, former CEO and now Senior Partner at Deloitte, will address Corporate Voices’ corporate partners at the 2013 Annual Meeting. Throughout his 37 years with Deloitte, Jim has held numerous key leadership roles and built a distinguished track record of service to many multinational clients.
Jim will be discussing his best-selling book, As One: Individual Action, Collective Power (2011), a best-selling book that addresses the leadership challenge of creating environments that inspire large groups to work towards a common goal. As One focuses on corporate leadership’s ability to be effective by respecting their people, helping them find their leadership style and demonstrating a genuine advocacy for professional development.
The Annual Meeting, themed Corporate Leadership Beyond the Workplace, will be held March 20-22, 2013, in Washington, DC. Register online today! Hotel reservations can be made at The Madison Hotel by calling 1.800.424.8577. Mention the Corporate Voices’ room block to receive your discounted rate. If you have any further questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.