Bronwen Hale Dearden
Welcome to EEM!
Hi! My name is Bronwen Hale Dearden, and I am the founder of Economic Equity for Moms (EEM). I fouded this website after experiencing frustration feeling undervalued as a stay at home mom, while also feeling that I didn’t have the options I wanted in order to return to work (read my story here). So I decided to do something about it!
What you see on this site is a product of many a nap-time dedicated to generating content for moms out there who are like me: frustrated at the conditions we face as mothers in the US, and pushing for something better. Check out my commentary on the EEM Blog, the interviews I’ve done with mothers who have faced similar frustrations, and reviews of books that are key in understanding the state of mothers in our country.
I believe that mothers have been lacking necessary options and support for too long. It is time to increase respect for caregiving, and to start making the cultural, economic, and social space necessary for mothers to pursue the balance between work and home that they desire.
- Elevate the status of caregiving, highlighting it as an economic activity crucial to the success of the United States of America
- Advocate for policies that allow women the time and resources necessary to take care of their families while reducing workplace penalties for caregiving
- Network with mothers to generate solutions to the inequities mothers face
What is EEM all about?
EEM was founded out of one mother’s frustration trying to find options in the space between working full time and staying at home (read that story here). Based in that experience and coming out of a pandemic that disproportionately impacted women’s employment, EEM has chosen to focus organizing efforts on mothers because we believe they are uniquely shouldered with childcare responsibilities and in special need of an advocacy community. Mothers also bear unique workplace penalties for having children, and face significant barriers to re-entry after taking time out of the workforce. EEM exists to counterbalance these societal forces, and we won’t stop until mothers have both the options they need and respect they deserve in the quest to combine work and family.
As EEM is based in a middle class woman’s frustrations trying to combine work and family, it is accurate to say that at present, EEM focuses on the needs of this group. Certainly we recognize that even having the choice between working and staying home is a privilege that many low-income women are not in a position to consider. We applaud policies like the child allowance recently passed as part of the American Rescue plan, and advocate for similar policies which will impact mothers from all backgrounds. EEM believes that a rising tide lifts all boats, and that as we advocate for policies that would advantage middle class women (such as paid maternity leave, a permanent child allowance, and more benefitted part-time work options), that single moms and low-income mothers would be similarly benefitted.
That being said, we are looking to expand our reach and to better understand the issues that single mothers and low-income mothers face. If you are a single mom or a low-income mother and would like to share your experiences or write for us, please reach out to [email protected].
Our organization focuses on mothers who are looking for a change in their balance of work and home—mothers for whom the experience of trying to balance full-time work and kids feels like too much, as well as mothers at home who would like to enter the workforce, but feel barred from entry due to time away from the job. There are mothers who work full-time who are satisfied with their work-life balance, but research suggests that this isn’t the experience of all working moms. A 2019 study suggests that working mothers with two or more children were 40% more stressed than women without children. Further, Caitlyn Collins’ recent book, Making Motherhood Work, interviewed mothers from Sweden, Italy, Germany and the US, and found that mothers in the US were the most stressed by far (due to high expectations at work and home and lack of support). Clearly the United States is not doing enough to support mothers, a reality that has been made abundantly clear in the wake of Covid-19. Whether it’s funding for daycare, on-ramps for returning moms, or real paid time off after having a child, women who wish to combine work and home need real support and real options that both value caregiving and provide access to sustainable work.