Women, work, and diapers…by Michelle Bomberger | August 2, 2011
The topic of women as business leaders seems to surround us these days with numerous awards such as the Puget Sound Business Journal’s Women of Influence and the Women Business Owners’ Nellie Cashman Award to recognize their achievements. In addition to the awards specifically for women, women are more and more visible all corporate recognition programs – almost half of the PSBJ’s 40 under 40 awardees were women this year. Similar trends can be seen nationally.
In addition to their roles in business, women also remain the primary caregivers for children. In order to work full time, either as an entrepreneur or corporate employee, they must have reliable, safe childcare options. For many, though, the costs of working outside the home are prohibitive. And, surprisingly, diapers are a key factor. Then Help a Mother Out came into the picture. HAMO is a grassroots organization based out of the San Francisco Bay area with a mission to raise awareness of the desperate need for diapers among poor families and to advocate for change in the social safety net. When I became involved with Help a Mother Out (HAMO), I had no idea the significance of diapers!
At the kick-off of my first diaper drive with HAMO in 2010, my mother raised a question: “Why don’t people use cloth diapers like we used to do? They aren’t that expensive.” I found this a very interesting question and asked the HAMO founders. Their response was that cloth diapers can work at home; but, in most cases, daycare providers do not accept babies in cloth diapers – disposable diapers are a requirement. What this means is that in order for adult members of the family to work, they need diapers – and diapers are expensive. The need among social service agencies for diapers far exceeds the need for food, clothes or blankets. In addition, diapers are typically not covered under social safety-net programs like food stamps.
In response to this answer, I began working with WestSide Baby and Eastside Baby Corner. Both organizations echo the words of HAMO that they cannot keep up with the demand for diapers. For this reason, we at Equinox Business Law Group is holding its Annual Charity Event in August to benefit HAMO and WestSide Baby. Please feel free to join us on August 24th for an evening with guest speaker Shari Storm, author of “Motherhood is the New MBA” which promises to be entertaining for all! The cost of attending is a box of diapers or wipes. To register, contact Equinox at 425-250-0205 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you can’t attend the event, you may make a donation locally at Equinox’s offices in Bellevue or WestSide Baby in WestSeattle anytime during the month of August. You may also make a cash donation directly to HAMO.
Thanks for your help! We look forward to seeing you on the 24th!