The Marshall Plan for Moms is getting some male allies.
In an open letter to Congress today, more than 50 prominent men said they want bold action to address America’s childcare crisis, including direct payments to mothers that compensate them for their unpaid labor.
The letter includes dozens of bold-faced names from a diverse mix of industries, including NBA star Steph Curry; Hollywood heavyweights Don Cheadle and Colin Farrell; NYU professor Scott Galloway; Craigslist founder Craig Newmark; and New York mayoral candidate Andrew Yang. As a presidential candidate, Yang made the idea of redefining labor—and paying women for work they do at home—one of the cornerstones of his campaign.
The letter is appearing as a full-page ad in Thursday’s Washington Post. It follows a similar call to President Biden signed by dozens of prominent women last month.
“When more than 30 years of progress for women in the workforce can be erased in 9 months, the underlying system is broken,” the letter says. “It’s time to create a new structure that works for women, that respects and values their labor. Men have a role to play.”
Women have left the workforce in record numbers since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, and mothers in particular are carrying the weight of additional childcare responsibilities as schools remain closed and companies have shifted to working remotely.
Reshma Saujani, the founder of Girls Who Code, first suggested a Marshall Plan for Moms in an op-ed late last year in which she called for $2,400 monthly stimulus checks to mothers. The idea has since evolved into an effort to convince Congress to pass multipronged legislation, including policies that address pay disparities, parental leave, and childcare costs.
Many of the signatories of Thursday’s letter are parents themselves.