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 31, 2010


Women closing the job, wage divide

Tom Abate • San Francisco Chronicle • December 31, 2010

“The recession that began in 2007 accelerated changes that had already begun to reshape the landscape of labor in subtle ways that help women in their quest for earnings equality, while making it tougher for men to remain the family’s primary bread winners.”

Veterans of recent wars confront grim employment landscape

Michael A. Fletcher • Washington Post • December 30, 2010

“While their nonmilitary contemporaries were launching careers during the nearly 10 years the nation has been at war, troops were repeatedly deployed to desolate war zones. And on their return to civilian life, these veterans are forced to find their way in a bleak economy where the skills they learned at war have little value.  Some experts say the grim employment landscape confronting veterans challenges the veracity of one of the central recruiting promises of the nation’s all-volunteer force: that serving in the military will make them more marketable in civilian life.”

Leaving Cockpit for Family

Karen Crouse • New York Times • December 29, 2010

“On occasion this year she grew distracted as she went about her perilous job. By the fall, there was no question in the boss’s mind that she belonged on the mommy track, not the racing oval.  So the first and only female team owner in the IndyCar Series essentially dismissed herself as the primary driver.”

Washington Opens the Virtual Office Door

Nicole Belson Goluboff • New Geography • December 28, 2010

“Increasing the number of federal telecommuters is a good first step towards empowering the nation to tap telework’s many benefits. However, a diverse group of advocates would like to see telework become widely available for all workers. The Obama Administration endorses this goal. Proponents of broad access to telework include champions for small businesses and for energy independence, transportation alternatives, work/life balance, homeowners, environmental protection, disabled Americans, and rural economic development.”

Workers need help to cope with stress

Cindy Krischer Goodman • Miami Herald • December 28, 2010

“In most workplaces, 2010 proved to be a strange year—painful and rewarding, trying and exciting. The topic of work/life balance became more relevant than ever.  Almost universally, stress hit an all-time high, fueled by heavier workloads, fear of job loss and 24/7 connectivity.”

New Year’s Resolution: I quit!

Jessica Dickler • • December 23, 2010

“Employers watch out: Your workers can’t wait to quit.  According to a recent survey by job-placement firm Manpower, 84% of employees plan to look for a new position in 2011. That’s up from just 60% last year. Most employees have sat tight through the recession, not even considering other jobs because so few firms were hiring. For the past few years, the Labor Department’s quits rate, which serves as a barometer of workers’ ability to change jobs, has hovered near an all-time low.”


The Market and Workplace Flexibility

Carrie Lukas • National Review Online - The Corner • December 30, 2010

“A key ingredient to workplace flexibility is trust between employer and employee. An employee may negotiate an arrangement so that she doesn’t have to work on Mondays, but with the unwritten understanding that she may have to field a phone call or come in on an emergency basis. Employers may also understand that the worker may need to switch her day off on occasion. When the government intervenes, flexible structures inevitably become more rigid and can become less attractive for both parties.”

Who Benefits from Long-Term Unemployment?

David Leonhardt • New York Times - Economix • December 29, 2010

“The share of the labor force that has been out of work for at least six months remains near an all-time high. Long-term unemployment is clearly terrible for the millions of people who find themselves in that situation. But it does have a flip side for the rest of the labor force: unemployment in this downturn has been concentrated among a surprisingly small number of people.”

Gender, Brain Science, and Wrong-Headed Notions

Rebecca Jordan-Young • Harvard Business Review Blogs - The Conversation • December 23, 2010

“If we want the attributes that are widely associated with women to infiltrate boardrooms, many interventions are possible. Organizations could, for example, offer greater opportunities for job-sharing, and restructuring professional jobs so that hours of overtime on a weekly or even daily basis is not a routine expectation. That would avoid some of the career derailing that happens when women become mothers — and allow men to have better work-life balance, too.”

Don’t Leave Before You Leave

Hanna Rosin • Slate - XX Factor • December 22, 2010

“I saw Facebook COO Sheryl Sandbergs’ talk at the TED conference in Washington last week, and the line that stuck with me was: ‘don’t leave before you leave.’  I see what you’re saying, Dahlia, women plan their future work/life conflicts because they have to. But the result of that may be, as Sheryl put it, that they ‘take their foot off the gas pedal.’”

Global News

Working (Part-Time) in the 21st Century

Katrin Benhold • New York Times • December 29, 2010

“For reasons that blend tradition and modernity, three in four working Dutch women work part time. Female-dominated sectors like health and education operate almost entirely on job-sharing as even childless women and mothers of grown children trade income for time off. That has exacted an enduring price on women’s financial independence.  But in just a few years, part-time work has ceased being the prerogative of woman with little career ambition, and become a powerful tool to attract and retain talent — male and female — in a competitive Dutch labor market.”

Necessity Pushes Pakistani Women Into Jobs and Peril

Adam B. Ellick • New York Times • December 26, 2010

“Ms. Sultana is part of a small but growing generation of lower-class young women here who are entering service-sector jobs to support their families, and by extension, pitting their religious and cultural traditions against economic desperation.  The women are pressed into the work force not by nascent feminism but by inflation, which has spiked to 12.7 percent from 1.4 percent in the past seven years. As a result, one salary — the man’s salary — can no longer feed a family.”