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?

March 22, 2011


Women Lag Behind Men in Economic Recovery

Bradley Blackburn • ABC News • March 21, 2011

“While you might expect men to recover more jobs since far more men were put out of work, there are some signs that things have gotten worse for women rather than better. Looking at the data since the end of the recession in July 2009, men have gained 600,000 jobs while women have lost 300,000 jobs. […] As unemployed women look for work, experts also point to cultural biases that may hinder their search. While anti-discrimination laws prohibit the practice, some employers may believe that male workers will clock longer hours or be more dedicated to their jobs.”

Gains, and Drawbacks, for Female Professors

Kate Zernike • New York Times • March 21, 2011

“While women on the tenure track 12 years ago feared that having a child would derail their careers, today’s generous policies have made families the norm: the university provides a yearlong pause in the tenure clock, and everyone gets a term-long leave after the arrival of a child. There is day care on campus and subsidies for child care while traveling on business.  Yet now women say they are uneasy with the frequent invitations to appear on campus panels to discuss their work-life balance. In interviews for the study, they expressed frustration that parenthood remained a women’s issue, rather than a family one.”

Why I’m Saying Goodbye to the Column

Jeff D. Opdyke • Wall Street Journal • March 20, 2011

“But ultimately, work is about making choices—choices between earning money, job satisfaction and the demands of family. It’s all a balancing act.  For me, things have been out of balance lately. I work a lot and make a nice bit of money. But I haven’t done a good enough job in attending to my family.  Part of the solution is to curtail some of my travel, a discussion I’ve had with my publisher. But part of the solution is also cutting out secondary writing projects that consume my nights and weekends—particularly Love & Money. In other words, on the balance scale, I need to make less money and spend more time with family.”

Women bear brunt of union-busting

Rep. Rosa DeLauro and Heidi Hartmann • Politico • March 17, 2011

“Women are the majority of public-sector employees at the state and local levels and have already lost 320,000 public-sector jobs in the past two years. As budget crises intensify this year, and as states still face a $125 billion budget shortfall, state governments are likely to shed more jobs. These layoffs are likely to fall squarely on women.”


Effective Retirement Age vs. Official Retirement Age

Jason Oberholtzer • Forbes - Charts and Leisure • March 22, 2011

“To be clear, the official retirement age is the age your country finds you legally able to retire and have your retirement fund kick in; the effective retirement age is the average age at which the population declares retirement. Split by gender, the chart raises a lot of complex questions about wages, quality of life, emphasis on leisure and the role gender plays. For instance, why are there only six countries in which women average a later retirement age than men?”

Stop Mixing Business with Pleasure

Jodi Glickman • Harvard Business Review Blogs • March 22, 2011

“With the Millenials’ exodus to social media platforms from good old-fashioned email accounts, the lines between our business and personal lives are increasingly blurred. We live on our smart phones or blackberries and technology has enabled us to multi-task to such an extent that the once-clear delineations of personal life and work life have all but disappeared.”

Ask the Juggle: Back to School

Sue Shellenbarger • Wall Street Journal - The Juggle • March 21, 2011

“The idea of improving one’s skills, pay and promotability sounds great in theory. But how do you manage college courses while also being a parent and holding down a full-time job? She also wonders whether enrolling in an online program would make this particular juggle any easier.  Managing work, family and school is definitely a stretch.”

“Beyond salary, location and advancement opportunities, it’s important to determine how your work will affect your life outside the office.  Although many find it increasingly difficult to juggle both home and career responsibilities, the following companies encourage their employees to strive for a balanced life.”

Paid Parental Leave

Matthew Yglesias • Yglesias • March 18, 2011

“The point here, to me, is that subsidizing child-rearing is an eminently reasonable policy goal. Since a kid born today won’t be in the workforce until 2030 or later it’s very possible that a measure to reduce present labor supply in favor of more child-rearing will entail some kind of small short-term hit to growth. But in the long run people matter most, and giving parents the ability to take the time needed to get infants off to a good start in life is something with very large payoff.”

Global News

PwC: Maternity rights should not be cut

Louisa Peacock • Telegraph, UK • March 22, 2011

“Labour today claimed that Chancellor George Osborne plans to get rid of maternity and paternity rights as part of a raft of measures designed to kick-start growth.  Leaked details of tomorrow’s growth strategy, to be published alongside the Budget, have already exposed potential plans for employers hiring 10 staff or fewer, with those firms winning exemptions from strict maternity and paternity leave regulations.  But PwC said restricting maternity rights for women could put females off working in small businesses altogether.”

Flexible working requests work

Lisa Ansell • Guardian, UK • March 18, 2011

“Dropping the right of parents to expect applications for flexible working to be considered fairly, while weakening employment rights and cutting legal aid in employment cases, will do more long-term harm than any of the welfare ‘reform’ and cuts we are seeing. For many single parents, this will be the difference between working and not; but make no mistake this affects all of us.”