By normalizing the images of working pregnant women, we can perhaps get to the thornier issue of why so many women still fear and face workplace discrimination. If we want to truly give women equal footing in the workplace, we need to address what is a vulnerable time for so many women and the ramifications that often last long after the baby is born.
“States are laboratories for invention,” said Wendy Chun-Hoon, co-director of Family Values @ Work, an organization working with paid family leave coalitions at the state level. “States are paving the way to eventual federal policy,” she said, and because states have over a decade of lessons to learn from (California’s paid family leave policy was implemented in 2004, followed by New Jersey in 2009), they also know what mistakes and pitfalls to avoid.