This week Washington, DC hosts the United State of Women Summit in Washington, DC. Today President Obama, in a rousing and vibrant speech to a packed house of optimistic game-changers, leaders and determined visionaries, encouraged us to support companies who are truly creating workplace policies to work for everyone. “It would help if more women were in congress and in the C- suite (“I have a corner office, the Oval office”, he grinned!)” POTUS shared, “we also have to change the way we see ourselves”.
“Right now we continue to be boxed in by stereotyping. It has consequences for all of us. We need to keep changing the attitude that got us here. It is why we are encouraging and highlighting women trailblazers — because it is hard to be what you cannot see”.
With his words and his remarkable and contagious passion POTUS urged that we be more intentional about how we get there — supporting companies who do the right thing.
And how do we do this — in real-time, how do we support the shift? As we see culture changing — not only on paper but also in practice, how so we cast our vote, and show our appreciation for those getting it right — or at least better?
Looks like this week team Target played their role exactly the way that POTUS urges. This video of a sea of Target employees protected a breastfeeding mother being harassed in store is a remarkable example of an integrated cultural mandate — one that exists both on paper and in real-time — in this case — in the café of a Torrington, Connecticut Target store. At time of publishing, this video shot by the nursing mother has over 3 million views.
According to an article from the Huffington Post in 2015, Target’s employee handbook states that “guests may openly breastfeed in our stores,” and further adds that “Target’s policy supports breastfeeding in any area of our stores, including our fitting rooms, even if others are waiting.”
This week a breastfeeding mother, harassed by a Target customer while with her baby in the cafe, was quickly and confidently protected by store employees. A ring of red Target shirts surrounded her and helped her to feel safe and protected when she was shaking from the experience. No drama, simply an appropriate, even reaction to inappropriate hatred and vitriol which has no place in Target as communicated through the whole of the organization.
We need to applaud and support Target for not only creating this policy but also for being an organization that actively supports these cultural guidelines — making the protection of a mother in the café a seamless and obvious response to the luncay of the man harassing the guest. And we need to show that not only with shares but also with shops — meaninging shop at Target to underscore how right they are.
#UntiedStateof Women was about how we will get where we envision — and this story of a Target café in Connecticut hits the bulls eye.