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?

July 13, 2010


No extension of unemployment benefits in sight for the long-term jobless

Michael A. Fletcher • Washington Post • July 13, 2010

“In the coming weeks, the Senate is expected to resume its debate about whether to extend the emergency jobless benefits that were passed in response to the steep increase in unemployment caused by the recession. But people like Frazee, who have suffered the longest in the downturn, will not be part of that conversation. They are among the 1.4 million workers who have been unemployed for at least 99 weeks, according to the Labor Department, reaching the limit for the insurance. Their numbers have grown sixfold in the past three years.  The 99ers are glaring examples of the nation’s most serious bout of long-term joblessness since the Great Depression. Nearly 46 percent of the country’s 14.6 million unemployed people have been out of work for more than six months, and forecasters project that the situation will not improve anytime soon. Currently, the Labor Department says there are nearly five unemployed people for every job opening.“

U.S. Senior Workers Vie With Teens for First Time Since ’48: Chart of Day

Michael McDonough and Andy Cinko • Bloomberg • July 12, 2010

“U.S. employees old enough to retire are outnumbering their teenage counterparts for the first time since at least 1948, when Harry Truman was president, a sign of how generations are competing for scarce jobs.  The CHART OF THE DAY shows the number of people aged 65 and older in the labor force—defined as those who are working or looking for work—has averaged 6.6 million in the first half of this year, more than the 5.9 million workers between 16 and 19, according to the Labor Department. There are now 1.13 older workers for every teen, compared with 0.5 a decade ago.“

Big Business Versus Obama

Jeffrey E. Garten • Newsweek • July 12, 2010

“As job creation and an economic growth stall, the Obama administration is being criticized not just from all parts of the political spectrum in the U.S. but also from big business, which increasingly believes that the president harbors a thinly camouflaged antibusiness bias.”

For working mothers in academia, tenure track is often a tough balancing act

Daniel de Vise • Washington Post • July 11, 2010

“Researchers from Barnard College in New York interviewed 21 women, all striving to be supermoms at the most demanding time in their careers. Many of the women portrayed their work and family lives in irreconcilable conflict. [. . .] The findings, presented last month at a conference of the American Association of University Professors, challenge the common perception that a faculty job might be a wise choice for an aspiring mother, given the flexible hours and generous vacation.  More broadly, the study underscores the perils of working motherhood at a time when the recession has driven more mothers into the workforce.”

All Joy and No Fun

Jennifer Senior • New York Magazine • July 4, 2010

“From the perspective of the species, it’s perfectly unmysterious why people have children. From the perspective of the individual, however, it’s more of a mystery than one might think. Most people assume that having children will make them happier. Yet a wide variety of academic research shows that parents are not happier than their childless peers, and in many cases are less so. This finding is surprisingly consistent, showing up across a range of disciplines.”


Telework gets another vote this week

Ed O'Keefe • Washington Post - Federal Eye • July 12, 2010

“The vote comes the same week the Office of Personnel Management released new statistics on telework participation from the new Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey, which polled more than 263,000 executive branch employees.  Ten percent of survey respondents telework at least once a week, and 12 percent do so less frequently. Thirty-six percent said they can’t telework because they must be physically present to do their jobs (this includes law enforcement officers, lab technicians and national park rangers); 7 percent said they don’t telework because technical issues prevent them from doing so; 23 percent said they don’t telework because they’re not allowed; and 12 percent of workers said they choose not to telework.”

Reinventing Retirement Becoming Boomer Model

Philip Moeller • U.S. News and World Report - The Best Life • July 12, 2010

“Unlike past generations, the wave of people that will begin turning 65 next year knows with certainty that it has another 20 to 30 years of life left—on average. It’s enough time to accomplish many new things. And while money may be a driver for many such efforts, finding new ways of contributing and staying engaged contributes far more to happiness than do the dollars, Gilbert said.”

The Next Time Someone Asks

Mindy Fried • Sloan Work and Family Blog • July 12, 2010

“At the policy level, we need an infusion of funds into job creation and job training programs, and better family policies to support women and men when they are ‘inbetween’ jobs. Universal early childhood education, paid family leave and universal non-stigmatized family allowances would go a long way. At the personal level, it looks like those with more education experience less job loss, so this is another area that requires government policy and support.”

When the Corporate Ladder Becomes a Lattice

Author Unlisted • Harvard Business Blogs - IdeaCast • July 9, 2010

“Featured Guest: Cathleen Benko, vice chairman and chief talent officer for Deloitte LLP and coauthor of The Corporate Lattice: Achieving High Performance in the Changing World of Work.”

Why can’t “career women” just be women?

Mary Elizabeth Williams • Salon - Broadsheet • July 9, 2010

“Early Friday afternoon, New York Times writer Jodi Kantor laid down a challenge via her Twitter feed. ‘Dear fellow journalists,’ she implored, ‘can we stop referring to women who work as “career women”? 60% of U.S. females 16 and older are in the labor force.’  I think I’ve got this one!”

Global News

Reluctance to take paternity leave ‘hostile to women’

Paul Bibby • Sydney Morning Herald, Australia • July 11, 2010

“GETTING men to take more days off might seem like an unusual way of getting more women into boardrooms, but a new organisation striving to even up the gender imbalance in the corporate sector believes it could be the solution to one of the nation’s most entrenched inequities.  The organisers of the 100% Project say the reluctance of male executives to take up flexible hours and paid parental leave is sustaining a work culture that is fundamentally hostile to women.”