National Family Caregivers Month (NFCM) is celebrated every November to recognize and honor family caregivers. It offers an opportunity to raise awareness of caregiving issues, educate communities and increase support for caregivers.
In honor of NFCM, we spoke with Jessica George, Industry Relations Manager, Milady, and co-lead of our Parents and Caregivers Employee Resource Group (ERG), about the significance of this month, the role of the ERG, and the milestones achieved so far.
A Time for Gratitude and Celebration
For Jessica, NFCM in November is a time of gratitude, especially as it leads into the holiday season. As a caregiver for her aunt and an elderly parent, Jessica takes this opportunity to reflect on the moments worth celebrating. “All year, there is a sense of weight that comes with caregiving. During this month, I try to release the ‘weight’ and just try to enjoy the moments. I know this may be a luxury, to be able to enjoy and celebrate, but I’m intentional about staying committed to making the upcoming holiday season a time of joy for those I care for.”
The Parents and Caregivers ERG: Filling a Need at Cengage Group
The Parents and Caregivers ERG was started in 2021 and serves as a platform to highlight the existing benefits and resources available to parents and caregivers within the company. Jessica emphasized the importance of “creating a space where members can share their stories and experiences through live events. The ERG aims to foster growth in career journeys while integrating the demands of work and home life.”
Evolution and Future of the Parents and Caregivers ERG
As the Parents and Caregivers ERG celebrates its 2-year anniversary, Jessica reflected and shared that “the ERG continuously explores ways to support its members and is currently seeking input from the community to understand their needs and aspirations. We are excited about the future and look forward to expanding support, resources and events that address the ever-changing needs of parents and caregivers.”
Accomplishments and Aspirations
Over the past two years, the Parents and Caregivers ERG has successfully supported its members in navigating the challenges of remote work, balancing and adapting to the new normal, “which was a crucial need at the time,” noted Jessica. Looking ahead, Jessica said “we are looking forward to meaningful live events together and sharing ways to stay true to ourselves, care for our loved ones, make time for our goals and aspirations, and find enjoyment doing it.”
Acknowledging Fellow ERG Co-Leads
Jessica took a moment to recognize her fellow ERG co-leads, Courtney Wolstoncroft, co-lead of the Mental Health Alliance ERG, and Katelyn Palladino, co-lead of the DCIC, Disabilities & Chronic Illness ERG. While expressing her admiration for their work, Jessica underscored the spirit of collaboration and generosity that they bring to the Parents and Caregivers ERG, inspiring the community and making a significant impact.
Courtney added that “I deeply appreciate Cengage's Parents and Caregivers ERG. Balancing the demands of what many consider the hardest and most rewarding job in the world, parenting, alongside a full-time career is no small feat. Having a supportive community to connect with and share the unique challenges that working parents encounter is invaluable. Every parent deserves this kind of support."
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