In 1993 the Ms. Foundation, which got its start as a philanthropy arm of Ms. Magazine and the women's movement, launched Take Your Daughter to Work Day. Acting on research about girls' relatively poor self-esteem, organizers thought it would be a good idea to show adolescent girls -- if only for a day -- that they could reach their potential, not just at home and in the community, but also in the workplace.
The idea caught on, so much so that boys and their parents got a little jealous. So now the day is called Take Our Daughters and SONS to Work Day.
Sons and daughters, girls and boys. That pretty much takes care of it, right?
It did, for one year! In 1994, Pet Sitters International, an organization -- based in North Carolina -- whose members get paid to watch after people's animals, came up with Take Your DOG to Work Day. This was not some nutty scheme to enable dog-lovers to romp in the office halls with Fido and Fifi. There was a serious purpose, to encourage co-workers -- who might not realize how much joy a pet can bring -- to consider adopting homeless animals from shelters and rescue groups.
The first year, 300 companies signed up. Eleven years later, on Friday, June 24th, more than 10,000 companies around the world will open their doors to pooches.
So it seems canines and kids both benefit from a taste of the work-a-day world.
But we have to wonder what this idea has unleashed, so to speak. What will we bring through security NEXT year? Snakes? Great grandmothers? We have a feeling there are some supervisors out there who'd rather see something like Come to Work By Yourself, Bring a Sandwich, and Get Something Done For a Change Day.