Kirstin Rowe-Finkbeiner believes in the power of moms, and as co-founder of MomsRising, she's been key in harnessing that power to build a more family-friendly America. With more than 1 million members, 5 million readers, 3,000 bloggers, hundreds of thousands of radio program listeners, on-the-ground and online volunteers and more than 200 partner organizations, they have the power to make change... and they have.
"Moms are a major power in the labor force and economy. Three-quarters of moms are now the primary or co-breadwinner in their families, and women/moms make the majority of purchasing decisions in our consumer-fueled economy," she told SheKnows. "It’s also important to note, particularly this year, that women/moms are more than 50 percent of the electorate. When moms speak up, leaders listen. I’ve seen moms move policies that no one thought would move to advance paid family leave, fair pay, child care, sick days, healthy foods, gun safety, racial justice and so much more at the city, county, state and federal levels across the country. Moms are an incredibly powerful force for good in our nation, and having the honor of seeing that power in action across the nation each day is beyond inspiring, particularly in this time of rampant cynicism. Moms are a much-needed cynicism antidote!"
Among the accomplishments of which she's most proud, she lists MomsRising playing a significant role along with other organizations in advancing health care (now 9 out of 10 people have health care coverage!), advancing the conversation and policy around pay equity, moving policies forward around paid family/medical leave and also sick days in dozens of jurisdictions, advancing affordable child care and access to healthy foods for all kids, extending the Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit and taking on the gun lobby at the local level. But the thing she's most proud of: "That a handful of women came together, and then that handful became hundreds, the hundreds became thousands, and through friends telling friends, MomsRising is now more than a million multicultural members strong and growing!"
MomsRising also walks the talk when it comes to family-friendly work practices. Rowe-Finkbeiner herself has two children (plus two dogs and a bunny) and works primarily from home. She says that, in fact, the entire 30-plus MomsRising staff members work flexible hours, primarily from virtual home offices in 14 states across the country.
"Our organization is successful because MomsRising 'runs' using our organizational goals along with associated Key Result Areas and metrics to track the impact of our work instead of only tracking the hours we each sit at a desk between 9 and 5," she said. "We've created a work environment that clearly demonstrates we can be incredibly effective and creative in a virtual workplace, and we can also honor our caregiving responsibilities as mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters, sons and daughters. It can be done. MomsRising is proof positive."