The Challenge


How can we equip young people with the skills, information and opportunities to succeed in the world of work? read the brief


Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day

In the US many offices, businesses and schools celebrate Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day (April 26). This year I took my cousin to IDEO.

This year a projected 37 million young people and adults participated in Take Our Daughters And Sons To Work Day. I don't have any children but there's one special young person in my life that I just knew would love to check out IDEO - my 10 year-old cousin Merritt.

In late April of this year Merritt got out of school a little early and came to IDEO for a tour. Together we talked about design thinking, we tried to understand what innovation means, and we even checked out OpenIDEO's website! We also explored different areas of IDEO's office, including the Tech Box - a big cabinet of different materials, tools and other inventions to help inspire IDEO designers when they're working. We looked at the Shop and saw people using tools to build things - and then most importantly (for a 10 year-old) we went and had a milkshake at the local diner! Over milkshakes, Merritt told me how excited she was about design and how she wanted to go home and 'build something'. Talk about a lightbulb moment for her!

Imagine what might happen if every 10, 12, 15 or 18 year-old had the chance to go to a workplace and explore what work looked like there? How might we inspire this new generation of employees and leaders to get excited about and feel empowered by work?

Here's more information on Take Our Daughters And Sons To Work Day:

Designed to be more than a career day, the Take Our Daughters And Sons To Work® program goes beyond the average “shadow” an adult. Exposing girls and boys to what a parent or mentor in their lives does during the work day is important, but showing them the value of their education, helping them discover the power and possibilities associated with a balanced work and family life, and providing them an opportunity to share how they envision the future and begin steps toward their end goals in a hands-on and interactive environment is key to their achieving success. Each year, we develop new interactive activities and partnerships that will assist us in taking girls and boys to the future they dream of.

By bringing girls and boys together, we will continue to create a more equitable world—at home, at school, in the workplace, and in the community. This year we are celebrating the opportunities that girls and boys will discover and the opportunities for parents, mentors, and the community to continue involvement in this unique educational experience.

Mission #5 Collaborative Partnerships


Join the conversation and post a comment.

Kara Pecknold

June 10, 2012, 04:23AM
Love this, Ashley. I especially like the idea of a mentor who had no sons or daughters but could "adopt" a young person to bring to work. And think about those young people who have no parent that is able to support this idea but had a desire to go to work with a professional? Shadowing is such a powerful experience.

Arjan Tupan

May 30, 2012, 08:05AM
I think it's a great idea. It give young people a good sense of what goes on in the world of working. And to do so at different stages, with different 'assignments', could really help them to make choices and to find the right career to pursue.

Ashley Jablow

May 30, 2012, 18:04PM
Oh I like your build! Let's remember this for Concepting :)

Thomas Hutton

May 30, 2012, 06:36AM
I'd forgotten how much it meant for me to visit my dad at his office as a kid. Seeing my drawings on his office walls made my day. Playing with his computer (early 90's) was amazing, and seeing the social aspect of work really made an impression. I was reminded of this very recently, when I visited his work environment, some twenty years in from my previous visit. I immediately drafted the company some marketing material, and I have now inherited (loaned) all the management books from my dad's shelf. Inside I still have that boyish feeling of awe from the original experience. This is a very good idea, and should be a strong part of corporate culture.

Ashley Jablow

May 30, 2012, 18:06PM
I'm so glad to hear this resonated with you Thomas. It's amazing how strong those childhood memories can be, and what a pull they can have on us.

Tamar Lasky

May 29, 2012, 12:17PM
You're right! I hadn't thought of it that way, with regards to this challenge. An idea that is simple, free and fun!

Ashley Jablow

May 30, 2012, 18:05PM
Thanks Tamar! I'm glad you enjoyed this.

Louise Wilson

May 28, 2012, 20:39PM
What an adorable photo, Ashley.

My dad has always had his own business, working from home so I got the chance to experience an office (albeit small) from a very early age. It's amazing what you learn from watching, asking questions and helping out on a range of tasks.

Ashley Jablow

May 28, 2012, 21:25PM
So true! My mom is a small business owner, too and I agree - I watched and learned every day!

Meena Kadri

May 28, 2012, 23:53PM
Me too! Worked at my Mum's surgery in school holidays and learnt a lot about "being in service" of others.
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