The University Record, May 9, 1994

Sons, daughters join parents at work

By Rebecca A. Doyle

Jill Finkbeiner is a sixth grader in Saline Middle School who loves math, plays the violin and is an A student.

She also wields a pretty mean screwdriver.

Jill is one of the many eight- to 15-year-old children of University faculty and staff members who spent April 28 on campus seeing what their parents do with all the time between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.

Take Your Child to Work Day, coordinated by the Family Care Resources Program and various participating units, was the University’s answer to Take Your Daughter to Work Day, sponsored by the Ms. Foundation for Women.

Jill’s father, John Finkbeiner, is a carpenter for Plant Operations. On the day that Jill visited, he was repairing doors at various campus locations, including Crisler Arena. Outfitted in blue jeans and safety glasses, Jill had a hand in most of the repairs Finkbeiner completed, either finding screws the right size, steadying pieces that were to be joined or driving in the screws that would make the repair complete.

Jill was one of seven girls from her class who were visiting their parents at work, she said, noting with a grin that she’d rather be with her dad than in class.

Many University units scheduled activities that allowed the children time away from their parents. The mother-baby unit at Women’s Hospital, for instance, took girls on a tour of the helipad and Survival Flight helicopter, the Holden Neonatal Unit and computer facilities, where they made Mother’s Day cards.

In addition to unit activities, the Information Technology Division sponsored drop-in computer activities, and the Center for the Education of Women sponsored a short talk on women and work by Director Carol S. Hollenshead. An ice cream social complete with fudge and caramel sauces and maraschino cherries topped off the afternoon.

Plans for the day were made early at the Family Care Resources Program, where coordinator Leslie de Pietro invited U-M units to participate in discussions about the day. Through those discussions, she says, “it was decided to call this day at the U-M Take Your Child to Work Day to be inclusive and to provide boys with the opportunity to see women doing important work.”