Despite significant strides in recent years, women today earn 21 percent less than men according to a March 8, 2017 report by Sonam Sheth and Skye Gould in "BusinessInsider." Women also continue to be underrepresented in the boardroom, top executive positions and the fast-growing field of technology.

Studies have shown that part of the reason this inequality persists is that when girls reach early adolescence their self-esteem drops significantly. During this stage, girls become focused on their appearance and how boys will perceive them. This often inhibits them from competing with, or in front of, boys. As a result, girls fail to develop the know-how and the confidence necessary for competing later in the job market.

Another reason women are underrepresented and earn less is that despite changes in recent generations, girls are still subject to stereotypes concerning marriage, raising children and certain occupations. Such stereotypes steer girls, often unintentionally, into traditional paths and roles regardless of their interests and abilities.

For these reasons, Take Our Daughters to Work Day was created in 1993 by the Ms. Foundation. The purpose was to help girls realize the importance of their abilities and to reach their full potential.

In 2003, the observation was officially changed to Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day, to be inclusive of all kids. Now, kids have the opportunity to experience the workforce one day each year, helping them to envision what tomorrow has to offer.

On April 26, be a part of this nationwide event and empower your daughters and sons for a bright and fulfilling future.

A day at work with your kids

On Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day, get your child off to a good start by having your child dress accordingly and arriving on time. Avoid having your child just observe by setting aside some tasks to keep her busy throughout the day.

Also, try some of the following:

  • Have your kid keep a journal throughout the day, describing different aspects of the occupation he likes and dislikes and why.

  • Ask your daughter to compose questions about the occupation and interview coworkers. Topics might include the pros and cons of the job, why coworkers chose the occupation and what their day entails. If she is shy or opposed to the idea, don't force it. You want her to leave with positive feelings about the day.

  • Describe to your child hypothetical problems or situations that might arise in your job, and ask him for ideas and solutions.

  • Help your child write a letter and an occupational questionnaire. Then have him prepare them for mailing to businesses and professionals in occupations of interest. Be sure to include a self-addressed stamped envelope for a response, and mail them at the post office after work.

  • Give your child a camera, a Polaroid if possible, to take photos throughout the day. Then have him compile a Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day scrapbook. He can include descriptions of each photo and what she learned or discovered.

  • Visit yourfreecareertest.com where your child can do a free online survey to discover what careers fit her personality and interests. Then she can go to kids.usa.gov/teens/jobs for career information designed just for young teens.

  • Help your child create a career folder and design forms to track school classes, grades, career interests and experiences, honors, awards and other relevant information for preparing for a secondary education or joining the workforce.

Alternatives for taking kids to work

Not all kids will have the opportunity to participate in Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day. Talk with family and friends, mentioning that they can volunteer to take a child to work who otherwise won't have the opportunity.

If you're unable to take your child to work, help with a political campaign or get involved in a community service project in which your child can still have the experience.

Give your child alternative opportunities if he has interest in a particular occupation. If you know someone in the field, ask if your child can go to work with her for the day. Or ask a nearby company what it's planning for the day and how your child can participate.

Other ways parents can participate and promote the day

Taking kids to work isn't the only way parents can participate. By doing the following, parents can make the most of the day for all kids, highlighting the significance of the day and its importance to their future.

  • Promote Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day by writing a letter to the editor of your local newspaper to create awareness.

  • Form a committee in your community or at work to promote the day, and plan events to make it a success.

  • Create fliers to remind parents of the upcoming day, and post them on community bulletin boards in libraries, grocery stores and banks. Also, ask companies to post them in their break rooms or on employee bulletin boards.

  • Ask your employer to support the event, and discuss ways the company can provide an enriched learning experience. Assist in planning special activities for girls and boys throughout the day such as speakers, group discussions or a luncheon.

  • Organize a speaking engagement in your community to share with parents the importance of the day, ways they can participate and what they can do when they take their kids to work.


Kimberly Blaker is author of the kids' book " Horoscopes: Reality or Trickery?" She also writes a blog, " The Young Gma's Guide to Parenting," at theyounggma.com