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Greetings friends: 
Welcome to the Better Life Lab Newsletter!

New America's Breadwinning & Caregiving Program is now the Better Life Lab 

Here are five things you need to know this week to make your life better at work and at home:

What’s Working When It Comes to Redesigning Work

What do a popular bakery, an eyewear company, a footwear store, and Brooks Brothers have in common? They’re recent winners of New York City’s Age Smart Employer Awards, which research and highlight “best practices for retaining, recruiting, and maintaining productivity” of older workerskey breakthroughs for a city with 700,000 actively employed residents over the age of 55. You can find out more, including the lessons learned from these employers’ best practices, over at the OpenWork web site.

If redesigning work is on your mind, now may also be a good time to check out “Redesigning, Redefining Work” (co-authored by Stanford’s Shelley Correll and Center for Work Life Law director Joan C. Williams, along with Erin L. Kelly and Lindsey Trimble O’Connor) from the 2014 Work and Occupations in case you missed it the first time around.


Taking Stock of the Cost of Women’s Unpaid Labor

Claire Cain Miller wrote “How Society Pays When Women’s Work is Unpaid,” a thoughtful piece for The Upshot that offered a compelling overview of this care-centric laboressential for households and societies to thrive, yet too often valued less than paid work (or not valued at all). Central to her column was Gates Foundation co-founder Melinda Gates’ assertion that devaluing women’s unpaid labor is “one of those root inequalities that exist all over in society...if we don’t bring it forward, we basically won’t unlock the potential for women.” The annual letter Ms. Gates released earlier this week with her husband Bill Gates outlined “time poverty” because of unpaid work as a top priority.

We couldn’t agree more. One of our newest projects, the Global Gender Parity Initiative, is an innovative policy journalism project to trace, through powerful storytelling, the impact of not measuring unpaid work. GGPI is currently seeking applications from journalists to participate in the project. Learn more here!


Stories That Matter: The Portrait Project

The It’s Working Project is committed to helping the private sector bring new parents back to work more easily and effectively, and their Portrait Project, which caught our eye this week, provides candid, first-person stories of the challenges and achievements in the back-to-work experience. As storytellers ourselves, we love projects like this that recognize how much stories matter while at the same time provide resources for change. It struck a particular chord this week, with the release of this report from the Media, Diversity, & Social Change Initiative from the Annenberg School at USC. Especially when the stories we see on film and television include so few of us, initiatives like the Portrait Project that spotlight first-person, diverse narratives matter even more.

When Both Parents Can Take Leave (Dads Take It and Everyone Benefits)

According to a paper released last month from the National Bureau of Economic Research that looked at California’s Paid Family Leave program, gender-neutral paid family leave policy increased father-only leave-taking by 50 percent and joint leave-taking by 28 percent. They also conclude that gender-neutral paid leave programs may be a critical step toward closing the gender wage gap and promoting gender equality.

Virtual reality = real-life equality?

Survey data suggests that when it comes to implicit bias in tech, women face an uphill battle toward equality. Katherine Zaleski, co-founder of PowerToFly, asked a compelling question in Quartz: “If women could use virtual reality to mask their genders during job interviews, would we see more equality in hiring?” She then sketched out what a “gender-blind” interview process might look like. It’s a fascinating extension of the blind audition practices employed by US orchestras.

Speaking of unique approaches to combat implicit bias, we hope you’ll join us on March 14 for “What Works: Gender Equality By Designa lunchtime discussion featuring Harvard behavioral economist Iris Bohnet and Jenny R. Yang, Chair of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, that explores how we can use design thinking to move the needle toward eliminating unconscious bias in classrooms and boardrooms, hiring and promotion. You can RSVP to attend in person or watch via livestream here.


Follow us on Twitter @BetterLifeLab - and suggest your best reads on living a better life by tweeting at us!


About New America

New America is dedicated to the renewal of American politics, prosperity, and purpose in the Digital Age. Our hallmarks are big ideas, pragmatic policy solutions, technological innovation, and creative engagement with broad audiences. Read the rest of our story, or see what we've been doing recently in our latest Annual Report.

About the Better Life Lab

New America’s Breadwinning & Caregiving Program is thrilled to unveil a new name, the Better Life Lab, and an updated agenda to transform policy and culture so that people and families have the opportunity to live their best lives at work and at home. As a “lab,” we are dedicated to disruptive experiments, collaborative work, and innovative thinking.

“Your Life, Better: News From the Better Life Lab” will be our way to keep you in the know, featuring the best of what we’re reading and writing about gender equity, the evolution of work, and social policies that support 21st-century families. We will be a clear signal amid the noise to share what’s fresh and crucial to an inclusive vision of work-life, gender, and income equity issues.

Meet the Better Life Lab Team

Brigid Schulte, Program Director, Director of The Good Life Initiative, award-winning journalist, formerly of The Washington Post, and author of Overwhelmed: Work, Love & Play when No One has the Time
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Elizabeth Weingarten, Deputy Director, Director of GGPI
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Liza Mundy, Senior Fellow and author of The Richer Sex
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Jane Carr, American Council of Learned Societies Fellow & Program Fellow
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Katherine Zoepf, Fellow and author of Excellent Daughters
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Jay Newton-Small, National Fellow and author of Broad Influence
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Alieza Durana, Policy Analyst 
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Better Life Lab

Real choices. Real parity. All people.