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Day Without Women: Mahwah Boss Fully Supports Employee's Absence

Glen Rock's Jessie Schwartzfarb-Lipson wears red to spread awareness on Day Without Women. She stayed home from work on Wednesday. Her bosses are fully supportive.
Glen Rock's Jessie Schwartzfarb-Lipson wears red to spread awareness on Day Without Women. She stayed home from work on Wednesday. Her bosses are fully supportive. Photo Credit: Cecilia Levine

MAHWAH, N.J. —  Jessie Schwartzfarb-Lipson didn't make the drive to Mahwah on Wednesday.

Instead, the Sherwood Integrated Solutions employee stayed home in Glen Rock to participate in "Day Without Women" — a demonstration of economic solidarity across the United States.

"As long as people are still not equal, we should be bringing equality to the forefront for everyone," said Schwartzfarb-Lipson, a Glen Rock mom to two girls.

"Women still make 72 cents for every dollar a man does, and I think we're making really good strides.

"Many of the policies that U.S. President Donald Trump wants to put in place do not seem to be pushing forward the female agenda in a positive way."

Schwartzfarb-Lipson's boss Dan Ciccone, the executive vice president of investment and strategy, is in full support of her day off.

"It's very difficult, especially in our industry, to think there's any thinking that gender plays a role in the effectiveness of what we do," Ciccone told Daily Voice.

"But if that is the general feeling of what’s going on politically in this country, and women want to take a stand, we’re very supportive and we understand.

"Jessie makes an impact every day and we will miss her."

The idea goes both ways for Schwartzfarb-Lipson, who maintains that a world without women is just as one-dimensional as a world without men.

"Whenever you’re trying to hire, you always want to get a broad spectrum of thinking and opinions," Schwartzfarb-Lipson said.

"And if you’re only hiring a certain sector of people, you’re not getting a full picture."

The organizers behind January's March on Washington have organized this strike on International Women's Day to shed light on the value of women in the workforce and their contributions in society.

Economic injustices being brought to mind include discrimination, sexual harassment, job insecurities and more.

Among the many problems that Schwartzfarb-Lipson perceives in the workplace, pressure to sacrifice careers for motherhood is among the greatest, she says.

"It's very hard to balance having a child with a company that doesn't support the fact that now you have two responsibilities," said Schwartzfarb-Lipson, a Fort Lee native who feels lucky to be supported by her company.

Ultimately, Schwartzfarb-Lipson, among the hundreds of members in Glen Rock After the March , wants to send a message to her daughters, 6 and 8.

"I want to teach them that they can do anything they want," she said.

"I hope that when they're ready to enter the workforce, it'll be easier for them to make decisions about how they choose to manage having a career and raising a family.

"I hope those questions make it easier, or won't have to be asked or sought out by them as much."

As for her plans on Wednesday? Hanging at her sister's house with her mom, "who taught us to stand up for what we believe in," followed by a rally in Glen Rock.

Oh, and lunch will be provided by her father. One of her greatest supporters.

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