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 14, 2011


Emanuel ready to deliver paid maternity leave: ‘It’s a win-win’

Fran Spielman • Chicago Sun-Times • July 13, 2011

“Speaking as a father and the son of a pediatrician, Mayor Rahm Emanuel said Wednesday it’s high-time that the 10,767 women on the city payroll be offered a paid maternity leave.  One day after the Chicago Sun-Times reported that maternity leave was part of a sweeping review of all employee leave policies, Emanuel all but declared the policy change a fait accompli.”

Census: Share of children in US hits record low

Hope Yen • Associated Press • July 12, 2011

“Children now make up less of America’s population than ever before, even with a boost from immigrant families. […] Currently, the share of children in the U.S. is 24 percent, falling below the previous low of 26 percent of 1990. The share is projected to slip further, to 23 percent by 2050, even as the percentage of people 65 and older is expected to jump from 13 percent today to roughly 20 percent by 2050 due to the aging of baby boomers and beyond.”

Op-Ed: Goods and evil

Reihan Salam • Daily • July 12, 2011

“If there is such a thing as paradise on Earth, there is an excellent chance that it is located somewhere in the Solomon Islands […] A substantial majority of the workforce is engaged in subsistence agriculture and fishing, which might sound like a grind to city dwellers. But it is safe to say that many, if not most, Solomon Islanders would much prefer their way of life to the drudgery of commuting and staring at a blinking computer screen all day, and it is easy to see why. To spend your days alongside the people you love, growing and gathering only what you need to feel full, sounds quite pleasant.” 

Supporters of paid sick time demonstrate at downtown Starbucks

Jordan Steffan • Denver Post • July 12, 2011

“Dressed in medical masks and offering warnings of germ-infested coffee, supporters of a measure requiring employers to grant paid sick time to all Denver employees gathered in front of a downtown Starbucks this morning.  About a dozen supporters of the Campaign for a Healthy Denver stood in front of the Starbucks on California and 16th streets protesting the lack of paid sick days Starbucks provides its employees.”

Baby boomers expect more out of retirement, poll says

Ronnie Crocker • Houston Chronicle • July 12, 2011

“Two-thirds of all respondents said they would like to work some during retirement. Among those aged 55 to 64, the number was even higher, 77 percent.  They don’t want to work too much, however, with just 4 percent expressing a desire to work full-time. Thirty-six percent said they prefer to ‘go back and forth between periods of work and leisure to suit their new lifestyle needs,’ according to the report. Flexibility is paramount.”

Studies highlight troubles low-wage workers face, the effects on their children

Mikhail Zinshteyn • American Independent • July 11, 2011

“In elaborating on their findings in ‘Flexible Workplace Solutions for Low-Wage Hourly Workers,’ Liz Watson of Workplace Flexibility 2010 and Professor Jennifer E. Swanberg of the University of Kentucky explained seven out of ten occupations in which growth is expected between 2008 and 2018 will be in low-paying fields like retail, service and health care. The authors of the paper also noted that while 23 percent of the jobs shed during the recession were low-wage roles, 49 percent of job growth has been in those areas.”


Workforce Mosaic Policy Summit Addresses Major Demographic Shifts

• SHRM - We Know Next • July 13, 2011

“Shifts in how people view work has also undergone a huge transformation, Christensen said, noting that today’s workforce is one that is carrying multiple responsibilities – from the stresses place on military families, those caring for aging family members or young kids. Christensen today’s workers seek greater flexibility and don’t want to ‘choose between being a good work and being a good member of their family.’”

Do Family Responsibilities Keep Women from Running for Office?

John Sides • Monkey Cage • July 13, 2011

“ The men and women in their sample are virtually identical in terms of educational attainment and income.  Despite this, as their abstract notes, women in their sample had many more family responsibilities than the men.  No surprise.  Much more surprising is that no measure of family structure or responsibilities—whether respondents were married, had children, or had children at home, or were responsible for the majority of household tasks or childcare—significantly affected the pronounced gender gap in political ambition.  Women were less ambitious than men, regardless of family structure and responsibilities.”

The History and Politics of “Hecovery”

Dana Goldstein • Ladywonk • July 13, 2011

“When economic recovery kicks in, however, things often start looking less rosy for women. That was true after the Depression—when men won 20 war industry-related jobs for every 1 such job filled by a woman—and it is true today. The reason why is occupational segregation, especially among lower-skill workers. After a recession, men continue to have a stranglehold on manufacturing, construction, transportation, shipping, and other higher-paid, often-unionized, jobs.”

Worth It to Work Long Hours?

Rachel Emma Silverman • Wall Street Journal - The Juggle • July 13, 2011

“In this age, when the 40-hour work week is increasingly viewed as part-time, many of us are pulling long hours at the office. But at some point, all that time spent in the cube reaches a point of diminishing returns and it’s worthwhile just to call it a day and head home.”

The Future of Work Life Fit

Melissa J. Anderson • Glass Hammer • July 12, 2011

“This year, Yost said, the results were encouraging – not only is flex scheduling more the norm, but fewer people are concerned that it may harm their chances for higher pay or promotion.  That’s a good thing, Yost explained. ‘Flex is no longer a thing only a few people have and many are afraid of. Most of us have it in a different form. Now we need to move to the next step – how we can make it work.’”

Did workplace flexibility protect women during the recession?

Sabrina L. Schaeffer • Hill - Pundits Blog • July 11, 2011

“The fact is many women value time and flexibility as much as money. […]But in reality, burdensome regulations actually end up making the cost of employment higher and reducing flexibility for all workers.  While the official ‘recession’ might be over, the economy is still lagging, and we shouldn’t overlook the tremendous value of choice and flexibility for women — and men — and their employers.”

Global News

Work part-time but still be a big shot

Augusta Dwyer • Globe and Mail • July 13, 2011

“In some ways, job sharing means the best of both worlds. If a full-time salary is not a concern, the appeal for employees is obvious, opening up the possibility of achieving a better work-life balance and spending more time with their families. It allows them to participate in other meaningful activities, as in Ms. LeBlanc’s case, or they can study or start a small business.”

Nick Clegg “killing himself” trying to balance work and family

Christopher Hope • Telegraph • July 11, 2011

“The Deputy Prime Minister’s wife, Miriam Gonzalez Durantez, has painted a chaotic picture of life at home.  She said her husband typically attends a number of early-morning meetings in central London before returning to the family home in south-west London for the school run. […]The stress of making sure that he is there as a father for his children, Antonio, nine, Alberto, seven, and Miguel, two, appears to be taking its toll.”