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 25, 2011


Chore Wars

Ruth Davis Konigsberg • Time • August 8, 2011

“If there was one time in my marriage when life felt the most unfair, it was during the witching hour. When our children were young and I was working from home, I would relieve our babysitter at 5 p.m. and start to feed and bathe our 3-year-old and 6-month-old and begin various pre-bedtime rituals. By 6 p.m., this thought would be running through my head: If my husband doesn’t come home from the office soon to help, I’m going to lose my mind. By 7 p.m., my panic would turn to anger: Do I have to do everything?”

The Downside of Mandated Sick Leave

Michael Saltsman • Wall Street Journal • July 25, 2011

“Earlier this month Connecticut Gov. Dan Malloy signed a bill making his state the first in the nation to require employers to provide paid sick leave. Labor unions and advocacy groups have agitated for such a law since 2007, but had to wait for the support of a Democratic governor before they got it.”

State pays $180,000 to settle working mom claim

Mike Glover • Associated Press • July 23, 2011

“The state has agreed to pay $180,000 to settle the claim of a state worker who was fired after her supervisor expressed skepticism that working mothers can handle high-pressure jobs.  That supervisor, Roya Stanley, then resigned from her job at the Iowa Partnership for Economic Progress on Thursday, the day The Associated Press began questioning agency officials about the settlement.”

Women’s earnings, 1979-2010

• Bureau of Labor Statistics - The Editor's Desk • July 22, 2011

“Between 1979 and 2010, the earnings gap between women and men narrowed for most age groups.  Over that same period, at each level of education, women aged 25 years and older have also fared better with respect to earnings growth than men of similar age.  The women’s-to-men’s earnings ratio among 25- to 34-year-olds rose from 68 percent in 1979 to 91 percent in 2010, and the ratio for 45- to 54-year-olds increased from 57 percent to 77 percent.”

When work-life conflict arises, office often takes blame

Taya Flores • Journal Courier • July 22, 2011

“Poposki found that 64 percent of study participants blamed work, not family, for conflict. Twenty-two percent blamed their family role and only 3 percent blamed both work and family for causing conflict.  Five percent blamed other external factors such as a snow day, and about 6 percent blamed themselves for the conflict.  Poposki said people who attributed blame to external sources were much more likely to feel angry and frustrated with the work role.”

How short-staffed companies are saving vacation this summer

Katherine Reynolds Lewis • - Fortune • July 21, 2011

“Companies are asking employees to plan their own vacation coverage, requesting that vacationers send out memos to avoid any unwanted surprises, says Michael Erwin, senior career adviser for They’re also cross-training employees to cover for their colleagues during time off, and bringing in temporary staff when needed.”


Number of the Week: Low Odds Long-Term Unemployed Will Find Work

David Wessel • Wall Street Journal • July 23, 2011

“One in Ten: Odds that a person who has been out of work for more than 27 weeks will find a job this month. In contrast, according to Federal Reserve number-crunching of Bureau of Labor Statistics data, a person who has been out of work less than four weeks has about a three-in-ten chance of finding work and one who has been out of work between five and 14 weeks has a two-in-ten chance.”

Telecommute Nation: If Half of Us Could Work Remotely, Why Don’t We?

Derek Thompson • Atlantic - Business • July 22, 2011

“Telecommuting, or working from home, is one of those trends that most people talk about as much in the future tense as the present. Only one in twenty formally employed Americans works consistently from home, but the fact that so many of us could work fills demographers’ eyes with visions of empty cubicles and broadband-blazing living rooms.  Fully 75% of the workforce will be mobile by 2012, the research firm IDC predicted in 2008. […] Other studies hold that half of all jobs are receptive to telework, including the vast majority of information technology positions.  That’s a lot of stats. In a nutshell: Half of us could work remotely if we wanted. Far less do. Why?”

Myth of the Pregnant Superwoman

Lisa Belkin • New York Times - Motherlode • July 21, 2011

“In the middle of all these studies, Ms. Paul raises a central legal, practical and philosophical question: Who decides what to do about these findings. The question of whether female workers, pregnant or not, deserve different accommodations from men has been debated all the way up to the Supreme Court for much of this century. Early on, the justices saw those laws as protecting women.”

ForumWatch: MBA Careers With Work-Life Balance

Louis Lavelle • Bloomberg BusinessWeek - Getting In • July 21, 2011

“MBAs have long been considered workaholics looking for the biggest payday. But these days, especially with the influx of Millennials into b-school, things are changing. Business school administrators have long said that more of today’s MBAs want to find jobs that pay well but are also meaningful or give them the chance to make a difference. Since they realize all work and no play can make for a dull life and a bad marriage, many of them are seeking flexible schedules or at least better work-life balance.”

Global News

Working mothers do no harm to their young children, research finds

James Meikle • Guardian • July 22, 2011

“Mothers do not harm their young children emotionally or socially by going out to work, according to research that offers reassurance to women worried about juggling jobs and family responsibilities.  In fact, girls seem to gain from being in a household where their mother works, according to analysis of families with children born in 2000. In a project funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, a team from the department of epidemiology and public health at University College London found no evidence of detrimental effects on the young children of mothers working part-time or full-time.”