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?

April 12, 2011


There Is No Male-Female Wage Gap

Carrie Lukas, Independent Women's Forum • Wall Street Journal • April 12, 2011

“Feminist hand-wringing about the wage gap relies on the assumption that the differences in average earnings stem from discrimination. Thus the mantra that women make only 77% of what men earn for equal work. But even a cursory review of the data proves this assumption false.”

Pay equity for women

Linda Garcia Barnard, 9to5 • Journal Sentinel • April 11, 2011

“On April 12, the nation observes Equal Pay Day to symbolize that women on average have to work a year plus more than three months to equal what men make in a year. This past year, women were paid 77 cents for every dollar paid to men in the United States. For women of color, the gap is even wider, with African-American women earning 67 cents and Latinas 58 cents on the dollar.”

No sick leave for more than a third of workers

Dee DePass • Star Tribune • April 11, 2011

“More than a third of U.S. employees don’t get paid when they get sick and have to stay home.  And worse, those without paid sick days also tend to be the lowest paid workers on the job, a scenario that exacerbates wage inequalities in the private sector, said a report released Monday by the Economic Policy Institute.”

Where Are All the Senior-Level Women?

• Wall Street Journal • April 11, 2011

“What is holding women back in the workplace? And how can those restraints be broken? Vikram Malhotra, chairman of the Americas at McKinsey & Co., told the Women in the Economy conference what insights into those questions his company discovered in its latest research. The Wall Street Journal’s Alan Murray then discussed those findings with Harvard University economics professor Claudia Goldin; Saadia Zahidi, director of the Women Leaders and Gender Parity Program at the World Economic Forum; and Nancy Carter, head of research at Catalyst Inc. Here are edited excerpts of Mr. Malhotra’s address and the discussion that followed.”

Ikea’s U.S. factory churns out unhappy workers

Nathaniel Popper • Los Angeles Times • April 10, 2011

“Workers complain of eliminated raises, a frenzied pace and mandatory overtime. Several said it’s common to find out on Friday evening that they’ll have to pull a weekend shift, with disciplinary action for those who can’t or don’t show up.  Kylette Duncan, among the plant’s first hires, quit after six months to take a lower-paying retail job. ‘I need money as bad as anybody, but I also need a life,’ said Duncan, 52. She recalled having to cancel medical appointments for her ailing husband because she had to work overtime at the last minute.”

McChrystal to Lead Program for Military Families

Thom Shanker • New York Times • April 10, 2011

“The new initiative is designed to prod businesses and community and charitable groups to connect with military families as an act of public service, without being prompted to do so by federal money or tax incentives, officials said. Companies will be urged to take extra measures to help military family members find jobs when they move from one community to another, and schools will be urged to adopt programs to help children adjust to the pressure of having a parent in combat.”

Flexibility is key for keeping good employees

Cindy Krischer Goodman • Miami Herald • April 6, 2011

“When I had my first two kids a year apart, it became challenging to keep up with the deadlines and long hours that the news business required. After a few days of not seeing my little ones before they went to bed, I considered quitting. Instead, I asked my manager for a reduced schedule.  That was the original definition of flexibility, an accommodation for a working mom. Fifteen years later, the conversation has changed. Today, flexibility is about the bottom line, a solution to a business challenge.”


At the Heart of Work and Family

Edited by Anita Ilta Garey and Karen V. Hansen • Rutgers University Press •

“At the Heart of Work and Family presents original research on work and family by scholars who engage and build on the conceptual framework developed by well-known sociologist Arlie Russell Hochschild. […]The common thread in these essays covering the gender division of housework, childcare networks, families in the global economy, and children of consumers is the incorporation of emotion, feelings, and meaning into the study of working families. These examinations, like Hochschild’s own work, connect micro-level interaction to larger social and economic forces and illustrate the continued relevance of linking economic relations to emotional ones for understanding contemporary work-family life.”


Military Spouses Face Difficulties Finding Employment

David Wood • Huffington Post • April 12, 2011

“Among the 14.8 million Americans looking for work, the men and women married to military personnel face barriers others don’t.  Military families move on average every 2.9 years, making it hard to pursue a single career or accumulate the experience employers want. […] The most recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, from November 2009, shows 8.4 percent of military wives were seeking jobs and couldn’t find one, compared to 5.3 percent of women in civilian families.”

Paycheck Fairness: Progress for America’s Women & Economic Security for the Middle Class

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand • Huffington Post • April 12, 2011

“Ensuring that men and women who do equal work receive equal pay is more than just a matter of principle. It is clear that a rebuilt middle class rests squarely on women helping to lead the way to economic recovery. More than half of all U.S. households today rely on dual incomes and the key for middle class success and economic security hinges on women being on equal footing in business, education and politics. In fact, according to recent statistics, it is estimated that if women’s paid employment rates were raised to the same level as men’s, America’s GDP would be 9 percent higher.”

When Having Kids Is Bad for Your Health

Bonnie Rochman • Time - Healthland • April 11, 2011

“In the latest knock against parenthood, researchers from the University of Minnesota looked at 838 women and 682 men and concluded that having children — particularly for moms — is linked to an array of negative outcomes. Mothers had a higher body-mass index and didn’t eat as healthily as childless women, chugging more sugary drinks and eating more total calories and saturated fat.  Both moms and dads exercised less than their child-free counterparts, but in a completely unfair twist, fathers’ BMI didn’t differ from that of men without children.”

10 Industries Where Women Earn Less Than Men

Douglas A. McIntyre, Michael B. Sauter, and Ashley C. Allen • Atlantic - Business • April 11, 2011

“We analyzed data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Department of Labor, the Census Bureau, Catalyst (the leading nonprofit organization for expanding women in business), and The Institute for Women’s Policy Research, to determine which ten industries have the greatest pay disparity between the sexes. Along with this information, we added other data to shed some light on the issue. According to this research, women earn as little as two-thirds as much money as men do to perform the same job in some industries.”

A Resources That Helps Work and Family Scholars Establish Their Careers

Stephen Sweet • Sloan Work and Family Blog • April 11, 2011

“I am delighted to report that the Sloan Foundation has renewed its support of this initiative, and through the new Work and Family Researchers Network we will be seeking 30 more applicants Early Career Work and Family Scholars Program.  The first 15 scholars will receive services in 2011-2012 and will have their travel funded to the conference of the Work and Family Researchers Network to be held at the University of Pennsylvania from June 14-16, 2012.”

Men, Unemployment and Disability

David Leonhardt • New York Times - Economix • April 8, 2011

“At the depth of the severe recession in the early 1980s, about 15 percent of prime-age men were not working. Today, more than 18 percent of such men aren’t working.  That’s a depressing statistic: nearly one out of every five men between 25 and 54 is not employed. Yes, some of them are happily retired. Some are going to school. And some are taking care of their children. But most don’t fall into any of these categories. They simply aren’t working. They’re managing to get by some other way.”

Global News

OECD: Men Still Lag Women in Housework

Max Colchester • Wall Street Journal • April 12, 2011

“When it comes to mowing the lawn, cleaning the kitchen and performing other household chores, Southern European and Asian men are the least likely to take part, according to a study by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.  The Paris-based think-tank surveyed 29 countries to determine how much time people spent doing unpaid work.  The results showed that women spent considerably longer than men doing daily chores, a factor that could hinder their ability to take part in paid employment, the study says.”