Fresno State was named one of five winners of First 5 Fresno County’s 2020 Child-Friendly Business Awards, along with ABC30, Ball Tire and Automotive, Fresno Regional Workforce Development Board and Quiring General, LLC.
Since 2006, First 5 Fresno County has awarded 68 Fresno County businesses and organizations that go above and beyond in their support to parent employees.
“Diversity is one of Fresno State’s core values, and we recognize that parenting is a critically important identity for many of our faculty, staff and student workers,” said Fresno State President Joseph I. Castro. “Supporting that identity ensures that our students and employees feel valued for the work they do both inside and outside of the university. Fresno State also recognizes the barriers that have traditionally excluded parents, especially mothers, from academia, and we are doing our best to eliminate those barriers.”
Child-Friendly business practices include: flexible work schedules, dedicated breastfeeding-friendly spaces at work, extended parental leave to be with a newborn, on-site or paid child care benefits, the option to work from home, and more! Winners are chosen by a community selection committee. The winning companies are publicly honored through an advertising campaign on local radio, print and web platforms.
“We know children thrive when their families thrive and when working parents have an employer that understands the importance of parents being there for their children – it’s a win-win for everyone because happy parents make better employees,” said Fabiola González, First 5 Fresno County Executive Director.
Fifty-eight employees submitted nominations on behalf of 39 employers, touting their child-friendly work environments and family-friendly policies. The five winning employers, who were selected by a committee of community reviewers, were announced during First 5 Fresno County’s monthly Commission Meeting on May 27.
Dr. Larissa M. Mercado-López, a professor in the Department of Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies, nominated Fresno State for the honor.
“I thought it was important to nominate Fresno State because these past few years our leaders have actively elevated their recognition of parents on campus,” said Mercado-López, who was a student-parent herself before becoming a faculty member at Fresno State in 2013. “As a faculty parent myself, I’ve benefited from the family-friendly campus climate that makes my children feel welcome on campus and that allows me to bring my whole self as a mother and scholar to my job. I think this is especially important for women scholars who have not always felt recognized and valued as mothers in the academy. Supporting us as parents not only improves retention and job satisfaction but also has a positive impact on our families’ quality of life.”
In her nomination, Mercado-López noted that Fresno State is the first university in the nation to establish a diaper bank, which thanks to a state grant, distributes 30,000 to 50,000 diapers a month to students — many of whom are Fresno State employees.
She also mentioned other amenities on campus for parents including diaper-changing stations, lactation rooms, two-hour parking for pregnant people, high chairs in the dining hall, low-cost summer enrichment programs for kids and bowling family packages.