Take Our Daughters To Work Day, day on which adults invite female children to their workplace, observed annually in the United States on the fourth Thursday in April. Take Our Daughters to Work Day is sponsored by the Ms. Foundation for Women, a nonprofit philanthropic and advocacy organization based in Washington, D.C. Some primary goals of the program are to familiarize girls with the workplace environment, to provide information about career opportunities, and to enhance girls’ self-esteem by demonstrating their future potential in the workforce and in society generally.
On Take Our Daughters to Work Day, many parents bring their daughters to their place of work. Some companies also invite classroom groups of girls to visit. In conjunction with these visits, the Ms. Foundation distributes curriculum guidelines to schools. The guidelines contain suggestions for classroom activities that address issues such as traditional gender roles and equality in the workplace. One component of the curriculum package, “Especially for Boys,” provides activities for male students while their female classmates are visiting workplaces.
First held in 1993, Take Our Daughters to Work Day quickly gained widespread participation across the United States. According to a poll conducted in 1997 on behalf of the Ms. Foundation, approximately one-third of American companies participated in the program that year. Also that year, more than 15 million adults invited girls or young women to their workplace.
Despite its popularity, Take Our Daughters to Work Day has provoked considerable controversy. Initially, the absence of many girls from school on Take Our Daughters to Work Day resulted in large financial losses to school districts, due to educational funding formulas based on daily attendance statistics. However, many school districts have since approved Take Our Daughters to Work Day and adjusted their funding formulas to account for widespread absences on the day of the event. Some critics have suggested that the program’s exclusive focus on girls neglects the equally pressing needs of boys to learn about work and to gain self-esteem. Many people bring both female and male children to work on Take Our Daughters to Work Day, and some companies have organized programs for both girls and boys.