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 8, 2010

Articles

Mayor Blasts Sick Bill

Michael Howard Saul • Wall Street Journal • October 8, 2010

“Mayor Michael Bloomberg all but vowed to veto legislation that would mandate paid sick leave for all workers in New York City, arguing it would be ‘disastrous’ for small businesses.  Mr. Bloomberg, who has previously voiced concerns about the bill, delivered his strongest statements yet against the legislation when asked Thursday about ongoing efforts to strike a compromise.”

Obama administration pushing telework as bill is set for House

Ed O'Keefe • Washington Post • October 7, 2010

“The Obama administration is such a strong supporter of allowing federal employees to work from home that it even allowed a government official to be sworn in via telephone. [. . .] The wider use and acceptance of telework is very much on the verge of reality. The Senate unanimously passed telework legislation last month and the House could do so during the lame-duck session. The bill would require federal agencies to appoint telework managers and incorporate the option into contingency operations.”

More U.S. women pull down big bucks

Carol Morello and Dan Keating • Washington Post • October 7, 2010

“The number of women with six-figure incomes is rising at a much faster pace than it is for men. Nationwide, about one in 18 women working full time earned $100,000 or more in 2009, a jump of 14 percent over two years, according to new census figures. In contrast, one in seven men made that much, up just 4 percent.”

‘Retirement Jobs’ New Reality For Many

Jennifer Ludden • NPR - Morning Edition • October 6, 2010

“A growing number of Americans say they expect to work well into traditional retirement years, a trend accelerated by the recession but also driven by changing attitudes and increased longevity. A new study by the Families and Work Institute (FWI) finds that 20 percent of employees age 50 and over officially retired and then returned to the workplace.”

Obama Says Flexible Workplace Not Only Women’s Issue

Traci McMillan • Bloomberg • October 5, 2010

“President Barack Obama said making workplace rules flexible isn’t only a women’s issue, telling a gathering of female executives in Washington that family- friendly policies help a company’s bottom line. [. . .] Obama told the business leaders that steps their companies have taken on issues such as child care and flexible work arrangements, along with those taken by his administration on child-care tax credits and paid leave, have opened opportunities in the workplace.”

Blogs

Re-Shuffling the Workplace

Lisa K. Horn • Huffington Post • October 7, 2010

“SHRM is an organization that champions workplace flexibility not as an employee benefit, but rather as a business imperative. We promote work-life balance among our 250,000 members and their organizations, and for our own employees because it helps workers be more productive, fosters greater employee engagement, and reduces the cost of turnover.  Had SHRM’s flex options not been available to me, I would have been forced to choose between my work and family—a choice no conscientious working woman or man should be forced to make.”

What Makes Women Rich

Richard Florida • Atlantic - Business • October 7, 2010

“This begs the question: To what degree is growing economic opportunity for women associated with the economic development of nations broadly? It stands to reason that economies that afford women more opportunity will gain economic advantage for the simple reason that they can tap a broader reservoir of talent and skill.”

Fortune Most Powerful Women’s Summit

Tina Tchen • White House Blog • October 6, 2010

“The President addressed more broadly our efforts on behalf of small businesses, our efforts to train and educate workers, make our workplace more flexible, and make America more competitive. It was a special evening and an important statement about the Administration’s commitment to women and girls.”

The Effects of Time-Starved Parents 25 Years From Now

Lisa Guernsey • Huffington Post • October 6, 2010

“As we recognize and celebrate National Work and Family Month, let’s not devote so much ink to the straits of stressed-out parents that we forget an even more fundamental reason for promoting workplace flexibility. Why do we need better balance? Let’s be blunt: to ensure our country’s economic competitiveness in the years ahead. Today’s kids are tomorrow’s workforce. What society sows today we’ll reap in 25 years as these children take on jobs [. . .] They will be competing for positions in a worldwide marketplace that we can hardly imagine.”

The Working in Retirement Study: Five Assumptions the Study Contests

Ellen Galinsky, Marcie Pitt-Catsouphes, and Melissa Brown • Huffington Post • October 6, 2010

“Today we, Families and Work Institute and the Sloan Center on Aging and Work, released our new study on Working in Retirement: A 21st Century Phenomenon. Like many of the studies based on Families and Work Institute’s ongoing nationally representative study, the National Study of the Changing Workforce, this report reveals important differences between assumption and reality.”

Global News

The newbreadwinners

Shannon Proudfoot • Vancouver Sun, Postmedia • October 8, 2010

“More and more Canadian women are assuming the role of primary family breadwinner, either by choice because of rising education levels and earning power, or by default when a spouse loses their job—a common scenario during the recent recession, when nearly three-quarters of jobs lost in Canada were held by men.  Statistics Canada reported last year that 18 per cent of Canadian women are the primary breadwinners in their families, up from 14 per cent in 1997. In the same time-frame, the proportion of women matching or exceeding their husbands’ earnings climbed to 42 per cent, from 37 per cent.”

20 Years After Fall of Wall, Women of Former East Germany Thrive

Katrin Benhold • New York Times • October 5, 2010

“Four decades of radically different socialization led to two very different sets of attitudes, illustrating how politics can shape gender relations.  In the East, a Communist state losing male labor to the West set up free day care centers and all-day schools so that women could work. Women had an extra vacation day per month, a year of paid maternity leave and shorter work hours after the second child.  In the West, they could be divorced for being a ‘bad housewife’ until the 1960s. They needed their husbands’ permission to work until 1977. Schools finished at lunchtime, and nurseries were scarce. [. . .] When the Berlin Wall fell, female employment in the West was 55 percent, in the East 90 percent.”