Professionals Who Care: A Nonprofit Design for Inclusivity of Caregivers in the Workplace
Schofield, Joanna Pierce
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Informal caregivers provide essential care to the disabled, ill, aging, or injured, services that are valued over $470 billion annually in the United States. Research has shown that nearly half of these caregivers had no choice in taking on their role, and that this population experiences significant financial, physical, and mental health struggles. 32.3 million of these caregivers must balance both care and job responsibilities, and these employed caregivers face widespread discrimination in the workplace. The bias against care providers is based on historic expectations of what makes an ideal worker: traditional hours, uninterrupted, and in person. These cultural standards have limited relevancy in today’s society with high rates of caregiving in the home, advanced technology, and the proven success of remote and flexible work during the covid-19 pandemic. While the workplace has made strides in recognizing the benefits and becoming more thoughtful of diversity-equity-inclusion issues and employment well-being, employed caregivers often encounter experiences as an invisible and marginalized class. This report will explore the struggles of employed caregivers, describe workplace advocacy gaps, and detail the design, benefits, and incorporation for Professionals Who Care, a nonprofit dedicated to inclusivity for employed caregivers in the workplace.