Tina Tchen to Address Work-Life Conference

News Updates

Executive director of the White House Council on Women and Girls to speak; new conference by SHRM and FWI to share best practices and research on workplace flexibility 

The executive director of the White House Council on Women and Girls, Tina Tchen, has joined the roster of speakers at the Nov. 8-10, 2011, Work-Life Focus: 2012 and Beyond conference sponsored by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) and the Families and Work Institute (FWI). The conference, highlighting the benefits of workplace flexibility for businesses and employees, will be held in Washington, D.C., at the Capital Hilton.

Tchen, who serves as the first lady’s chief of staff and as assistant to President Barack Obama in addition to her role with the Council on Women and Girls, will speak at a lunch program on Wednesday, Nov. 9, about the administration’s efforts to encourage workplace flexibility and about the Joining Forces Initiative, which supports military spouses and families.

Before taking up her duties at the White House, Tchen was a partner in corporate litigation at the Chicago office of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP. She represented public agencies in state and federal class actions, including the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, the Illinois Department of Public Aid and the Chicago Housing Authority. Tchen is the recipient of many awards, including the Leadership Award from the Women’s Bar Association of Illinois (1999), the Women of Achievement award from the Anti-Defamation League (1996) and Chicago Lawyer's Person of the Year award (1994).

"Tina has been a tireless advocate for women and families, and she brought that wealth of experience and dedication to the White House Council’s efforts," said Valerie Jarrett, senior advisor and assistant to the president for intergovernmental affairs and public engagement, when Tchen assumed her current position in January 2011.

Focus on Practical Solutions 

The Work-Life Focus conference is being presented by SHRM and FWI for the first time this year. The conference is designed to allow HR professionals and business leaders to explore effective and flexible workplace practices and the impact they have on business success and employee job satisfaction.

Also headlining the conference will be best-selling authors Dan Heath, senior fellow at Duke University’s Center for the Advancement of Social Entrepreneurship, and Dan Gilbert, professor of psychology at Harvard University. A series of learning labs will cover such topics as “Top 10 Manager Objections to Flex and How to Overcome Them” and “Gender and Global Differences in Work-Life Effectiveness.”

Best Practices Shared 

In conjunction with the conference, SHRM and FWI will release the 2012 Guide to Bold New Ideas for Making Work Work. The 2012 Guide highlights the practices of the winners of the Sloan Award for Excellence in Workplace Effectiveness and Flexibility. For the first time, applicants for the Sloan award were asked how they responded to the needs of military veterans and their families, and the 2012 Guide will detail how some employers responded with innovative or generous initiatives. A report on these findings will be released at the conference as well.