Make It Work Campaign



Brooklyn, NY

Project Of:

New Venture Fund

Contact InfluenceWatch with suggested edits or tips for additional profiles.

The Make It Work Campaign was a three-year campaign that began in 2014 targeting the 2016 election season. 1 The main focuses were on women’s economic advancement issues. It also sought to “update the narrative around women, work, and families.” 2 The campaign still has an active website as of summer 2020; however, it says the campaign concluded but “the fight continues.” 3

In a Medium post in December 2017, it announced that “Make It Work is winding down at the end of the year, as planned,” but was “passing the torch to our Make It Work family in Nevada who will continue building our community of passionate activists.” 4


The campaign was a project of the New Venture Fund, a funding and fiscal sponsorship organization for liberal advocacy projects based in Washington, D.C. and managed by the left-leaning consulting firm Arabella Advisors. 5

The group professed it would create a campaign to “develop a pipeline of leaders, particularly women of color and low-income women, that will help to make sure that the faces and voices of the women’s movement are representative of the women who are most impacted by these issues, and are representative of the diversity of American women.” 6

The Make It Work Campaign took personal stories from working families as part of the campaign in videos and online content that were viewed than 29 million times. 7 The organization also wrote that an “intersectional gender analysis” is “the way you are going to up your social change game.” 8

Policy Advocacy

The group advocated that the government mandate paid time off for employees, provide affordable childcare, and mandate employers pay union-rate wages. 9

Further, it pushed the Child Care for Working Families Act legislation. 10

In 2017, the organization argued that raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour would help shrink the gender difference in pay by at least 5%. The pay gap exists only because of patriarchy, sexism, and racism, especially for women of color, and it differs with ethnicity, according to Make It Work. 11

The organization set up a booth at the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines in August 2015, while 2016 Presidential primary candidates were stumping the state. They charged women 78 cents for a glass of lemonade and charged men $1 per cup to make a statement about the purported gender pay gap; African Americans were charged 64 cents per cup and Hispanics were charged 54 cents. 12

During the 2016 election, Vivien Labaton, co-director of the Make It Work Campaign criticized Donald Trump’s proposal to provide child-care tax credits, paid maternity leave and subsidies for stay-at-home parents, claiming it would only help wealthy families and that “this is for the Ivanka Trumps of the world.” 13


Vivien Labaton was the co-director of the Make It Work Campaign. She is also the co-chair of the We Belong Together campaign, focused on promoting liberal expansionist immigration proposals that would grant legal status to some illegal immigrants, while also highlighting the experiences and needs of immigrant women. 14

Labaton was previously a consultant to feminist activist Gloria Steinem. She was also the founding director of the Third Wave Foundation, an organization that supports young feminist activists. She clerked for the late U.S. District Judge Constance Baker Motley in the Southern District of New York, and was a Blackmun Fellow and staff attorney at the abortion advocacy group Center for Reproductive Rights. She went onto work for Atlantic Philanthropies. Labaton is the co-editor of The Fire This Time: Young Activists and the New Feminism. She is also chairwoman of the board of UltraViolet Action. She has sat on the boards of Third Wave, the Women’s Funding Network, Political Research Associates, and the advisory board of Chicken and Egg Pictures. 15

Tracy Sturdivant was the co-director of the Make It Work Campaign. She previously worked on women and diversity issues for several social-liberal groups, including People for the American Way, the White House Project, the Center for Progressive Leadership, and Public Campaign. Sturdivant was also a former executive director at State Voices. Sturdivant has served on the boards of directors for the Proteus Fund, the Ballot Initiative Strategy Center, ProgressNow Education Fund, and the Center for Progressive Leadership. 16 Sturdivant leads The League, the successor campaign to Make It Work. 17


  1. Make it Work Campaign. Accessed July 3, 2020.
  2. “Make it Work.” Idealist. Accessed July 4, 2020.
  3. Make it Work Campaign. Accessed July 3, 2020.
  4. Make it Work Team. “Passing the Torch.” Medium. December 19, 2017. Accessed July 5, 2020.
  5. “Terms of Service.” Make it Work, 2020.
  6. “Make it Work.” Idealist. Accessed July 4, 2020.
  7. Make it Work Campaign. Accessed July 3, 2020.
  8. “Organizing with a Gender Frame.” Make it Work Campaign. Accessed July 4, 2020.
  9. “Make it Work Campaign.” MoveOn. Accessed July 4, 2020.
  10. Make it Work Campaign. Accessed July 3, 2020.
  11. Guha, Auditi. “‘It’s a Civil Rights Issue’: Workers Will March for a Living Wage.” Rewire News. April 3, 2017. Accessed July 3, 2020.
  12. Krueger, Jonathan. “Make It Work Campaign Spreads Word About Gender Pay Gap.” Des Moines Register. August 22, 2015.–work-campaign-gender-pay-gap-iowa-state-fair/32207933/
  13. Alter, Charlotte. “Donald Trump Wades Into Battle Over Childcare and Stay-at-Home Moms.” Time. September 14, 2016. Accessed July 4, 2020.
  14. “Vivien Labaton.” Social Transformation Project. Accessed July 4, 2020.
  15. “Vivien Labaton.” Social Transformation Project. Accessed July 4, 2020.
  16. “Tracy Sturdivant.” Social Transformation Project. Accessed July 4, 2020.
  17. Team. The League. Accessed February 15, 2020.

Directors, Employees & Supporters

  1. Tracy Sturdivant
    Co-Founder and Former Executive Director

Associated Organizations

  1. Make It Work Action (Non-profit)
  See an error? Let us know!

Make It Work Campaign

Brooklyn, NY