This week, President Obama, in a rousing and vibrant speech to a packed house of optimistic game-changers, leaders and determined visionaries, encouraged us to support companies that are truly creating workplace policies to work for everyone. “It would help if more women were in Congress and in the C- suite, including the Oval Office,” he grinned as he spoke at the United State of Women Summit in Washington, D.C.
“Right now we continue to be boxed in by stereotyping. It has consequences for all of us. We need to keep changing the attitude that got us here. It is why we are encouraging and highlighting women trailblazers — because it is hard to be what you cannot see.”
With his words, Obama urged us to be more intentional about how we get to a place of supporting companies that do the right thing. So how do we do this in real-time? How do we support the shift? As we see culture changing — not only on paper but also in practice — how do we cast our vote and show our appreciation for those getting it right, or at least making it better?
It looks like this week team Target played their role exactly the way that Obama urges. This video of a sea of Target employees protecting a breast-feeding mother being harassed in their store is a remarkable example of an integrated cultural mandate — one that exists both on paper and in real time. In this case, it happened at the café of a Torrington, Conn., Target store. At time of publishing this piece, this video shot by the nursing mother had over 5 million views.
According to an article from the Huffington Post in 2015, Target’s employee handbook states that “guests may openly breastfeed in our stores,” and further adds that “Target’s policy supports breastfeeding in any area of our stores, including our fitting rooms, even if others are waiting.”
We need to applaud and support Target for not only creating this policy but also for being an organization that actively supports these policies — making the support of a mother in the café seamless and obvious.
We need to keep finding ways for women to get to where we envision, for families to live the way they should. And this story of a little Target café in Connecticut is one example of our path there.
Julia Beck is the founder of the It’s Working Project and Forty Weeks. Beck, a passionate strategist, storyteller and connector, is based in Washington, D.C., where she is the matriarch of a blended family that includes a loving husband, a loyal golden retriever and four children — all of whom are her favorite.
You might also be interested in: