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?

December 21, 2010


Recession forces rise in low-wage families, report says

Michael A. Fletcher • Washington Post • December 21, 2010

“The Great Recession, responsible for boosting unemployment to its highest levels in a generation, has sharply increased the percentage of working people who earn wages so paltry that they are struggling to survive, according to a new report. The share of working families earning less than double the official poverty threshold - $43,512 for a family of four - increased from 28 to 30 percent between 2007 and 2009, according to a report released Tuesday by the Working Families Project, a nonprofit group that advocates on behalf of the working poor.”

Weighing Costs, Companies Favor Temporary Help

Motoko Rich • New York Times • December 19, 2010

“Despite a surge this year in short-term hiring, many American businesses are still skittish about making those jobs permanent, raising concerns among workers and some labor experts that temporary employees will become a larger, more entrenched part of the work force.  This is bad news for the nation’s workers, who are already facing one of the bleakest labor markets in recent history. Temporary employees generally receive fewer benefits or none at all, and have virtually no job security. It is harder for them to save. And it is much more difficult for them to develop a career arc while hopping from boss to boss.”

JEC Report: Women’s Role in Economy Critical to Future Growth

• U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee • December 17, 2010

“A new report from the U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee (JEC) offers a comprehensive overview of women’s increasing influence in the economy and highlights the challenges that women continue to face in the workplace and in society – conflicts that are preventing them from fully contributing to economic growth and prosperity.  The report makes clear that the persistence of a gender pay gap and the existence of a patchwork social support system harm the economy by limiting women’s purchasing power and depriving employers of females’ full potential as productive workers.”


Why Do Working Moms Make Less?

Tina Vasquez • Glass Hammer • December 21, 2010

“Here are the numbers: In a comparison of the years 2000 and 2007, women comprised 49 percent of non-managerial workers in both years, but their representation in management rose slightly from 39 percent to 40 percent.  The Glass Ceiling Report and other reports like it give us a clear view into the hardships women face, while providing little insight as to why the numbers remain so low.  All we really know is that marriage and children can be a career roadblock, but only for women.”

The Value of Face Time: To Work Better, Work Closely

Belinda Luscombe • Time - Healthland • December 20, 2010

“Now that we have Skype and Facebook chat and email and teleconferencing and AOL Instant Messenger, what is the point of actually having a workplace? Why not work wherever we happen to be and, when and if others need us, beam in our eyes and ears? Because according to a new study from Harvard Medical School, when we collaborate remotely, our work may have less of an impact.”

High-Earning Women Lose More From Motherhood

Daniel Indiviglio • Atlantic - Business • December 20, 2010

“Moreover, women with higher potentials for earning obviously have a lot more to lose. Imagine a woman with an MBA who also has children and acts as a primary caregiver. In order to climb the corporate ladder, there are times when she must be able to give 100% to her job. If children are in the picture, then it’s simply harder—even if there’s a husband and/or a nanny involved. Think about how much more difficult it would be for her to climb to the CEO job than another woman who has no kids. The headwinds are undoubtedly stronger.”

The Different Costs of Motherhood

David Leonhardt • New York Times - Economix • December 18, 2010

“The pay gap between men and women of identical qualifications, experience, work hours and career choice has shrunk greatly in the last few decades. Some researchers believe it is now close to zero — not zero, though not far from it.  But a big overall pay gap still exists, in large part because men and women do not have identical amounts of experience, work the same number of hours or make identical career choices. Most of the work of family life — parenting and the like — continues to be done by women. As a result, the economic cost of motherhood remains enormous.”

Report: Women still face pay gap, other hurdles in the workforce

Vicki Needham • Hill - On the Money • December 17, 2010

“Lower pay for working single women and mothers, lack of representation in top corporate jobs and inflexible work arrangements and expensive childcare are hampering women’s contribution to the economy, according to a report released Friday.  The Joint Economic Committee’s examination of women in the workforce found that women face a pay gap, earning 77 cents for every dollar earned by men, about the same as it was nearly 10 years ago, and that women are provided little work-based support for family responsibilities.”

Watch Hanna’s Fabulous “End of Men” TED Talk

Jessica Grose • Slate - XX Factor • December 15, 2010

“Last week our own delightful Hanna Rosin gave a talk at the TED Women conference, in which she elaborated on her great Atlantic article published this summer, ‘The End of Men’. (She’s working on a book on this topic, too.)”

Global News

Take a break and we’ll all be happy

Ross Gittins • Sydney Morning Herald, Australia • December 22, 2010

“A survey conducted by Professor Barbara Pocock of the University of South Australia, as part of the Australian Work and Life Index, found 57 per cent of full-time employees would prefer an extra two weeks’ paid annual leave to a pay rise of 4 per cent.  So it seems we like taking holidays (and it sounds like a good idea to me). And yet there’s a wealth of evidence that many of us don’t take the leave we’ve already got. A survey conducted regularly by Roy Morgan shows that only about 70 per cent of Australians aged 14 or older intend to take at least one holiday over the next 12 months.”