The Longest Shortest Time

EPISODE #145: It’s A Real Mother, Part 4: Leave

This is it! We’ve arrived at Part 4 of It’s a Real Mother, our series on discrimination against working moms.

In the absence of a national policy that provides universal paid parental leave, Americans have had to rely on well-meaning employers and companies to step up and provide support for parents. Which means… lots of moms fall through the cracks.

We kick off the final episode in our series with a story from Keisha Robinson, a mom who’s raised nine kids while working in low-wage jobs, and has never once taken a paid maternity leave.

Then, we travel to Sweden, a place that decided decades ago that ALL parents—both moms and dads—should have access to paid leave. Only one problem: the dads weren’t exactly cooperating.

Swedish weightlifter Lennart “Hoa-Hoa” Dahlgren. This poster was part of a 1978 push from the Swedish government to give paternity leave a “manliness makeover.” …It didn’t work.

Tune in to hear about the fix that finally got the Swedes thinking outside the “mommy box”—and what we can learn from them.

Fired up about paid leave?
We are too! Check out PL+US, an advocacy organization working to win paid family leave for everyone in the United States. They have resources for employers and employees, including a workshop that will teach you strategies for changing you company’s paid leave policy.

And learn more about 9to5, the organization Keisha works with. It’s dedicated to putting working women’s issues on the public agenda.

Dispatches from Daddyland
Nathan Hegedus (our international dad spy from this episode) kept up a great blog during his stint on Swedish paternity leave. It contains gems like this AMAZING video. Our friends the gay nannies make an appearance around 2:45:

It’s A Real Mother

Discrimination against working moms is a real mother of a problem. But you can help. Listen to all the episodes of our series and find out what YOU can do – no matter who you are here.

If you’ve experienced discrimination in the workplace as a pregnant person or parent and need help, we’ve got resources for you here.

Lennart Dahlgren and baby: Reijo Ruster/flickr