More than a decade has passed since Families and Work Institute began honoring the work-life luminaries who created the work-life movement and shaped the field. The more than 50 experts —from academia, the business world and beyond — are a living history of individuals who lead the way to a better understanding of how work and life can better intersect.
This year, the Institute is honoring two more work-life thought leaders with its Work Life Legacy Award, and is also presenting its inaugural visionary award to one innovator who is helping take the field even further, especially in the increasingly 24/7 global workplace.
“We want to recognize those whose vision about how we live and work is matched by rigor in understanding the forces at play in achieving that vision,” said Ellen Galinsky, the Institute’s president.
The Work Life Legacy Award honorees who will be presented their awards at the Institute’s annual gala on September 30th include:
Burki is co-founder, chairman and CEO of LifeCare. A true entrepreneur, Peter launched LifeCare as a start-up in 1984 in Westport, Connecticut to help employees manage their child care needs. LifeCare provides productivity and employee loyalty solutions, serving thousands of employers and millions of members worldwide.
Burki has created the single source model of child care resource and referral which has become the standard of quality today, and he has continued to offer personal and innovative service through technology and high touch methods, noted Galinsky.
Lissy has been with Bright Horizons since 1997 when he took on the role of chief development officer, and he then became CEO in January of 2002. He is responsible for leading the company’s growth strategy, including its global expansion into Europe, Canada and elsewhere.
Lissy has created early education and care programs for employed parents that are as respectful of their own employees (the child care staff) as they are of the employed parents they serve. As a social entrepreneur, he and others have created a way for employees to give back to those in need in their own communities through Bright Spaces, explained Galinsky.
The theme for this year’s Gala is rethinking leadership, and, prior to the evening’s events, the Institute will be hosting a #RethinkLeadership Symposium.
At the gala, Robin J. Ely will be honored as a visionary for her research and work in the area of leadership.
Ely is Diane Doerge Wilson Professor of Business Administration and Senior Associate Dean for Culture and Community at Harvard Business School. She conducts research on race and gender relations in organizations with a focus on organizational change, group dynamics, learning, conflict, power and identity. Her recent published work includes a study of men and masculinity on offshore oil platforms, research on the impact of racial diversity on retail bank performance, and a framework for the design and delivery of women’s leadership development programs.
Ely “embodies the goals of the Institute’s visionary award,” said Galinsky. From her research on gender equity to her leadership in the Harvard Business School gender equity initiative, she has shown that culture change is possible.
The Chris Kjeldsen Award is presented jointly by the Families and Work Institute and Bright Horizons to leaders in the work-life industry who have made extraordinary contributions as a work-life practitioner, leader and innovator. The Award was created in memory of Chris C. Kjeldsen, Johnson & Johnson human resources executive and pioneering work-life advocate.
“As a leader in Work Life and Human Resources,” Galinsky said, “Maureen has not only been instrumental in helping shape the Prudential work environment — adding resources and programs that improve the well-being and lives of employees and their families, and crafting a culture that enables people to bring their best to work — she has also helped to move the needle in the broader business community. Specifically, she has increased the use of flexible working and has brought together Work Life with Wellness.”