Back in 1995, I was mentoring a twelve-year-old girl named Bianca. When I heard about Take Our Daughters to Work Day, I saw a perfect activity for me and my vivacious, aspiring, singer mentee to do together.
Armed with just a scribbled note from her grandmother, I checked Bianca out of school and brought her to the large newspaper where I worked. Company volunteers had planned a day full of activities for the kids. Two women editors performed a rap song about women in leadership. It was inspiring, and Bianca loved it, especially when she got to chat with the hip-hop music writer about how to break into the business.
In the afternoon, Bianca sat at the desk next to mine and called recording studios, asking how much they charged for a session. I encouraged her to make up a budget and save up the money to get the demo the music writer told her she needed.
Bianca and I had a lot of good days together, and that was one of the most memorable.
Fast forward twelve years, and the event has evolved into Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day, which will take place on April 26th. The education landscape has changed dramatically, with standardized testing the top priority. Some parents say it’s hard to check their students out for an event like Take Our Daughters, which is sponsored by the Ms. Foundation. School administrators encourage parents to schedule dental appointments after school.
Despite changing times, the event has thrived, in part because of a broad concept of daughters and sons that may include any young person who might benefit from the message. At Turner Broadcasting System in Atlanta, employees may bring up to four children, who may be siblings, cousins, or even neighbors. Turner is expecting more than four hundred boys and girls ages eight to twelve.
Brittany Pankhania, a senior marketing manager at Cartoon Network, which is part of Turner, brought her ten-year-old niece, Kathryn, two years ago. This year she is planning to bring her eight-year-old niece, Lauren.
“We spend the morning together, where she will gain an understanding of what I do on a daily basis,” Brittany says. “After lunch, they break into two sessions that are put together by the different departments and networks.”
Some kids will talk with animators while others will learn about online news.
“It is a great experience for someone who has never been to an office to see what we do,” Brittany says. “It really is a rewarding day for both of us.”