How do we (re)build careers for working parents in Utah post-pandemic?
The unprecedented events of 2020 have significantly impacted Utah’s workforce. For working parents, the pandemic intensified challenges many employees already faced, including burnout and navigating work-life balance.
The pandemic has shown companies that flexible work does indeed work, but many other policies and elements of workplace culture don’t create a sustainable work environment, especially for women, who typically carry the greater weight of parenting. Policies that encourage working parents, and particularly women, to stay engaged in the workforce will be a competitive advantage for employers looking to attract and retain top talent.
What does this mean for Utah businesses as we emerge from the pandemic and begin returning to “normal” operations?
In December 2020, Dr. Susan Madsen and her research team at the Utah Women & Leadership Project, part of the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business at Utah State University, address this very issue in their Research & Policy Brief titled “Flexible and Family-Friendly Policies at Utah’s ‘Best Places to Work,’” which collected data from Utah companies about their policies regarding flexible and family-friendly arrangements and offerings.
Holland & Hart has assembled a powerful panel of local business leaders to lead a forward-looking discussion about policies and programs businesses of all sizes can implement to improve the workplace and opportunities for working parents and women. The panel will explore Dr. Madsen’s latest Utah-based research on what “Best in Class” businesses are doing to meet employees’ needs. You’ll also hear from Utah businesses O.C Tanner, Larry H. Miller Group of Companies, and Recursion Pharmaceuticals.
Emily Tabak, Environmental Law Attorney at Holland & Hart. Emily identifies strategic solutions for clients in environmental regulatory compliance, permitting, and litigation matters at state and federal levels. She has extensive experience helping clients in industrial, mining, chemical, energy, manufacturing and retail sectors navigate regulatory and permitting requirements involving solid and hazardous waste, site remediation, water quality, and air quality.
Heather Kirkby, Chief People Officer at Recursion Pharmaceuticals. Heather focuses on creating an environment at Recursion for people to do the best work of their lives. She was instrumental in igniting accountability for a learning mindset in the organization, reinforced by programs, process, data and updated company values. Heather earned her MBA from Harvard University and her bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Queen’s University.
Dr. Susan Madsen, Inaugural Karen Haight Huntsman Endowed Professor of Leadership at Utah State University. Dr. Madsen is also the Founding Director of the Utah Women & Leadership Project, which focuses on strengthening the impact of Utah girls and women through increasing college completion rates and helping girls and women find their voices and become leaders. Professor Madsen and her team have written many Utah research and policy briefs, research snapshots, impact reports, newspaper editorials, and other resources.
Brit Merrill, Employment Law Attorney at Holland & Hart. Brit counsels large and small employers on state and federal compliance and litigation issues. She develops close working relationships with clients so she can help them proactively address and resolve issues with the goal of avoiding or minimizing liability and costs. She assists clients with the full range of federal statutory compliance, particularly Title VII, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).
Sarah Starkey, Chief Legal Officer, Interim CHRO, and Corporate Secretary, Larry H. Miller Management Corporation. Sarah provides a broad range of legal counsel to Miller Management Corporation and the Larry H. Miller Group of Companies at large. She also serves as secretary to the LHM Group’s Board of Directors. In 2018, Sarah was appointed by Governor Herbert to the 3rd District Judicial Nominating Committee. She served on the Utah State Bar Commission and as the past president of the Women Lawyers of Utah.
Beatryx Washington, SVP, General Counsel & Corporate Secretary at O.C. Tanner. As a career in-house attorney, Beatryx has always strived to help business leaders accomplish their strategic goals. She has previously counseled listed companies in the aerospace, nuclear services and multi-level marketing industries. As O.C. Tanner’s General Counsel, Beatryx also leads the Strategic Agreements and Internal Audit teams. She has an undergraduate degree in Political Science from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville and a Juris Doctor from DePaul University College of law. Beatryx likes to volunteer and has served on the board of Komen Utah since 2013.