Our 6th Annual Take Your Kids to Work Day

On Thursday, April 26, Macy’s New York City hosted the 6th annual Take Your Kids to Work Day in our Herald Square offices. Orchestrated by our Working Families employee resource group (ERG), more than 75 children were signed up to take part in the day, designing their own t-shirts, playing BINGO with the Parade Studio team, and asking our CEO Jeff Gennette some questions during a Town Hall.

We spoke to Karina Bhavnani, product manager and Working Families ERG lead to learn a little bit more about the day:

Tell us about the parents’ involvement.

This year, we decided to have the parents stay with their children all day. We wanted to create that opportunity for the child to be educated on what their parent uniquely does at Macy’s.

The kids asked Jeff questions at the Town Hall. How many submissions were there, and how did you choose the best ones?

While the kids were going to be out of school, there was no getting away from homework! We gave the children a homework assignment and asked, “If you had the opportunity to ask Jeff Gennette a question, what would it be?” The children were given a due date and their assignments were handed in on time. We narrowed it down to 10-12 questions, and then voted for the top three. The most unique question to Jeff was: Do you think your Zodiac sign helped you become CEO? Check out the video below!

Tell us more about the t-shirts the kids made.

We have been doing the Design-A-Tee activity since the inception of Take Your Kids to Work Day at Macy's six years ago. Kids come up with a team name, and a design concept. We ask, “If this was your t-shirt, what would it look like? What inspired you? What would you call it? How would you market it?” They then present their ideas to “senior management” – AKA their parents. The kids sit around a big screen, sharing ideas and directing one of our in-house designers. They learn about teamwork, listening to each other’s points of view, decision-making, and how to take feedback. Once the designs are done, we have a production team that prints out the designs on iron-on transfer paper, then puts them onto the t-shirts. The t-shirts are handed out to the children at the end of the event as a take away.

The kids get really excited when they see their designs coming to life on the screen. They get very involved as they run up to the screen, pointing and directing the designer. To the kids, the designers are like rock stars – they are in awe of them!

One year, one of our child guests attended and happened to meet the designer who made the shirt she was wearing. She got the designer’s autograph and picture, and both parties had a magic moment!

Why did you choose to partner with the Parade Studio for BINGO?

When you think of Thanksgiving, you think of the iconic Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade. We created a BINGO activity that we thought would be fun for the children to relate to. We used images from the parade throughout the years. As the images were being called out, the children heard fun facts about each image, learning things like how big Charlie Brown’s foot was on the giant balloon.

How many volunteers does it take to pull off this big day?

This day is a mammoth task made possible by almost 100 volunteers across functions.

What does this day mean to you as a Working Families lead?

To me, it’s an opportunity for the parents to connect with their kids on a whole new level. We spend a lot of time with our “work families.” By bringing our children in and introducing them to our team members, it makes those at-home conversations more meaningful.

One lucky child whose question was chosen for Jeff to answer was the 11-year-old daughter of Jillian Cueff, group vice president, Ready To Wear, and executive sponsor of the Working Families ERG. Jillian had this to say about the day: “Take Your Kids to Work Day was a huge success! Events like this are truly setting the stage for a continued, positive culture change at Macy’s. Spending quality time with our colleagues and their children was so much fun for all!”

At the end of the day, Working Families ERG executive sponsor Russell Weerth, group vice president, Men’s, thanked all of the ERG leaders, all the volunteers and especially the children for sharing their parents with Macy’s. “Macy's bringing work and family together made it a very special day!”