NewsRoundup

The Roundup will be brought to you in July and August by the new Work and Family Researchers Network (WFRN), an international membership organization for interdisciplinary work and family academics. The WFRN welcomes the participation of policy makers and practitioners as it seeks to promote knowledge and understanding of work and family issues among the community of global stakeholders. The Roundup is a compilation of the latest news articles, reports and other materials related to workplace flexibility delivered to your inbox on Monday and Thursday. In the fall, the WFRN will launch its new website which will include a News Feed among other features. We hope that you will get involved as a member and by posting the latest news. Questions?

October 22, 2010

Articles

White House Promotes Economic Efforts for Women

Sewell Chan • New York Times • October 21, 2010

“A 32-page report released Thursday by the National Economic Council, a policy coordination arm of the White House, described scores of policies that it said had promoted women’s economic security. [. . .] The report, whose tone was less partisan, noted that women were now 47 percent of all workers, 60 percent of part-time workers, 51 percent of managers and 57 percent of undergraduate students. But nearly a half-century after the Equal Pay Act was signed in 1963, women earn 77 cents for every dollar paid to men — a gap that has changed little over the past decade.”

Women rival men -- in joblessness

Dan Chapman • Atlanta Journal-Constitution • October 21, 2010

“While the U.S. unemployment rate stood at 9.6 percent in September, the rate for men was 10.5 percent. For women: 8.6 percent.  In Georgia, the gap slimmed, with 9.2 percent of women unemployed last year, about a percentage point below male unemployment and higher than the national rate for women, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).  And in the past year, as male unemployment has dipped significantly, the female jobless rate has barely shifted, according to the BLS.”

DOL Women’s Bureau Kicks Off National Dialogue on Workplace Flexibility

HR.BLR.com • Author Unlisted • October 21, 2010

“Noting that this is the 90th anniversary of the Women’s Bureau (WB), Manzano-Diaz said the purpose of the Bureau is to make inquiries and then develop policies and standards to advance the role of women in the workplace and to stimulate dialogue on the subject. She said the four top priorities of WB are to: 1) foster workplace flexibility and work/family balance; 2) promote higher pay for women through green, nontraditional, and STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) jobs; 3) narrow the wage gap at all levels; and 4) improve working and living conditions for women, especially female veterans.”

Hilda Solis: June Cleaver, meet Juana Solis

Hilda Solis • Dallas Morning News • October 19, 2010

“Now policymakers, employers and workers must find better ways to help people succeed at home and on the job. Products need to be made and parent-teacher conferences need to be attended. Aging parents need to be cared for and work deadlines must be met. Children get sick and have to stay home from school on the same day the big presentation is due at work. [. . .] Work-life balance policies and workplace flexibility initiatives aren’t niceties; they’re necessities for working families.”

Citigroup Slammed With Lawsuit By Former Female Employees

Michael Martin, Host • NPR - Tell Me More • October 19, 2010

“Six current and former female employees of Citigroup filed a class-action lawsuit against the institution, one of the ‘big four’ consumer banks in the U.S. Host Michel Martin speaks with Dorly Hazan-Amir, a current female employee who’s also a plaintiff in the suit, Douglas Wigdor, the plaintiffs’ attorney, and Joan Williams, director of the Center for WorkLife Law at the University of California’s Hastings College of the Law.”

Cisco Study Shows Mobility Playing Larger Role in Workplace

Author Unlisted • Phone + • October 19, 2010

“If the results of a recent study by Cisco Systems are correct, there may come a time when the corporate office is a thing of the past.  The increasing desire to balance work/life – which includes working non-traditional hours in nontraditional locations – and the maturation of technology to make that happen are converging to the point where more than half of workers surveyed by Cisco believe they no longer need to be in an office setting to be productive.”

Failed flexible work models widen the gender gap in high pressure jobs

Author Unlisted • Bain & Company • October 18, 2010

“A new study (‘Flexible Work Models: How to bring sustainability in a 24/7 world’) of 3,300 professional men and women published by Bain & Company on the adoption and effectiveness of flexible work models finds that a lack of availability of these programs, as well as their poor utilization, is driving a substantial number of professional women from high pressure jobs.”

The Corner Office, and a Family

Joann S. Lublin • Wall Street Journal • October 17, 2010

“What isn’t so rare is that she’s a mom. In fact, all but two members of the female CEO elite at big U.S. businesses have motherhood in common. The finding, uncovered by author Douglas Branson, throws a curveball at the ‘mommy track’ idea, and the belief that women must choose between being mothers and reaching the corner office.”

Reports

Jobs and Economic Security for America’s Women Report

National Economic Council • White House • October 21, 2010

“This report lays out the economic landscape facing women today and details some of the many ways the Administration is committed to making sure the government is working for all Americans and especially American women.”

Blogs

Providing Jobs and Economic Security for America’s Women

Valerie Jarrett • White House Blog • October 21, 2010

“Women are a growing share of our workforce, our entrepreneurs, and our innovators. As the majority of college graduates and nearly 50 percent of the workforce, women are in the position to drive our 21st century economy. Women are an increasing share of breadwinners for their families. In almost two thirds of American families, women are either the primary or co-breadwinner.” 

[Watch Valerie Jarrett’s appearance on MNSBC’s Morning Joe: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3036789/]

Can gender differences in competition explain the achievement gap?

Christopher Cotton, Frank McIntyre and Joseph Price • VoxEU.org • October 21, 2010

“Our results have significant policy implications. If the male performance advantage within competition is responsible for the male-female achievement gap, then efforts to eliminate the achievement gap should focus on correcting for performance differences within competition, possibly through affirmative action policies. We show that this is not the case. Rather, our results suggest the policy to eliminate the achievement gap should encourage female participation in competitive settings.”

What Careers Require Stay-at-Home Spouses?

Rachel Emma Silverman • Wall Street Journal - The Juggle • October 19, 2010

“Even in this day and age, are some jobs just so demanding that they unofficially require a stay-at-home spouse, or one with a less-taxing or more flexible job? To advance in your career, would it require that your spouse scale back his or her work, or vice versa? Or would just having more money to pay for more help be the key?”

‘Mad Men,’ Belva Plain and France’s Free Schools: Thoughts on Work-Life Imbalance

Sarah Wildman • Politics Daily - Woman Up • October 19, 2010

“Sitting in a Dupont Circle restaurant over lunch today I overheard two women – lawyers – hashing over their careers and wondering how to manage life outside work. They seemed stymied. Both wanted to carve back their work hours to be home earlier each night. [. . .] I couldn’t help but eavesdrop because I’m obsessed with work-life balance issues, unhealthily fixated on how to get it all done.  I see it everywhere.”

Global News

Cuts penalize mothers more than banks, Yvette Cooper warns

Allegra Stratton • Guardian, UK • October 21, 2010

“The government’s changes to the tax and benefit system could end up encouraging less well-off mothers who work part-time to give up their jobs, Yvette Cooper, the shadow minister for women and equalities, warned tonight. [. . .] Yesterday the Institute for Fiscal Studies appeared to agree with Cooper and said families with children were the ‘biggest losers’.”

Japan’s Next Big Thing: Stay-at-Home Dads?

Yoree Koh • Wall Street Journal - Japan Real Time • October 19, 2010

“Japanese papas feeling the tug between work and life may have a new pioneer in the paternal movement in Hidehiko Yuzaki, the governor of Hiroshima Prefecture. The 45-year-old governor said Tuesday he plans to take paternity leave later this month when his third child is born, in a move believed to be the first among prefectural governors and a break still well short of being a cultural norm in Japan.”

Flexibility in the work life of Finnish parent employees

Charlotta Niemisto • Workplace Flexibility - Expert Opinion • October 12, 2010

“As there is a strong tradition of state intervention in work/family issues in Finland, and welfare state policies such as day-care legislation dates from the early 1970s, the operative questions of work/family reconciliation have been issues dealt with outside of work organisations.  Traditionally, there are ambiguous relations between national gender equality and family policies strategies.  The relation between family policies and gender equality agendas is relatively unpronounced in society, but still reforms in Finnish family policies have since the 1990s been towards de-familialisation.”