As a young office worker, Ellen was unable to take time off to care for her children when they were sick. Her doctor recommended that she ask her housekeeper to take care of them, but this advice was totally impractical–she had neither a housekeeper nor a house!

ellen Bravo

Outraged and determined to reform employment conditions, Ellen organized with her colleagues and, in 1982, founded the Wisconsin chapter of Ms. Foundation grantee 9to5, a national membership organization of working women. In the late 1980s Ellen and her peers were able to win the Wisconsin family medical leave policy, and Ellen went on to become the National Executive Director of 9to5.

As a Ms. Foundation grantee, Ellen was an important leader on economic justice and the necessity of child care. Today, the Ms. Foundation works to address the challenges of child care from all angles. In partnership with our grantees, we are working to create a society where women at all income levels have access to flexible child care that fits their work schedules and those who care for our children are valued for the important work that they do.

We are proud to salute Ellen’s tireless efforts to ensure that fair employment policies are a right, not a luxury and that no parent has to choose between her child’s health and her job.