News Archive

Berkeley Law Experts to Present Shriver Report Findings Thursday

By Andrew Cohen

Thursday afternoon, the Berkeley Center on Health, Economic & Family Security (Berkeley CHEFS) will examine the implications of a recent groundbreaking report about women’s increasing role in the American workforce. The event runs from 4:00 to 5:30 p.m. in the Goldberg Room, with a reception to follow.

In October, California First Lady Maria Shriver and the Center for American Progress released The Shriver Report: A Woman’s Nation Changes Everything. Co-edited by Ann O’Leary ’05, Berkeley CHEFS’ executive director, the comprehensive report found that the nation’s leading institutions—government, business, education, media, and faith—have not kept pace with the changing nature of the American worker and family. It includes personal essays, excerpts from Shriver’s conversations with Americans across the country, and a large-scale national survey of attitudes on women’s rising prominence in the workforce.

A few months before the report was produced, U.S. Department of Labor statistics showed that by the end of 2009, women would comprise more than half of all American workers—and mothers would be the primary or co-breadwinners in two-thirds of the nation’s families. O'Leary says that timing provided “a great chance to shine attention on whether our society fully supports women who have dual roles as workers and family caretakers.”

In conjunction with the report’s release, Shriver spent a week discussing its core issues on various NBC programs, including an appearance with O’Leary on the Today Show. Thursday’s program at Berkeley Law will examine what implications these shifts will have on our major societal institutions, what policies are needed to accommodate them, how immigrant women have been affected, and how men’s roles have changed.

Panelists include O’Leary, Shriver Report co-editor and Center for American Progress senior economist Heather Boushey, and Maria Echaveste, Senior Distinguished Fellow at Berkeley Law’s Chief Justice Earl Warren Institute on Race, Ethnicity and Diversity. Respondents include Berkeley CHEFS faculty co-director and professor Mary Ann Mason and assistant professor Melissa Murray. O’Leary, Echaveste, and Mason each wrote a chapter in the report.

Berkeley CHEFS is co-sponsoring Thursday’s event with the Boalt Hall Women’s Association, Boalt Hall Chapter of the American Constitution Society, Berkeley Journal of Gender, Law & Justice, Berkeley Journal of Employment and Labor Law, and Women in Public Policy, a student organization at the Goldman School of Public Policy. To attend, please RSVP to