NewsRoundup

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 5, 2011

Articles

More women are working nontraditional jobs

Laura Raines • Atlanta Journal-Constitution • July 5, 2011

“While women make up 46 percent of the U.S. workforce, they account for only 6 percent of the jobs in production, transportation and material moving occupations and 1 percent in natural resources, construction and maintenance occupations, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Move over, guys. Looking for more job security and higher pay, or just following their natural talents, more women are entering male-dominated occupations.”

A Gillibrand Campaign: More Women in Politics

Raymond Hernandez • New York Times • July 4, 2011

“In many ways, Ms. Gillibrand, who is 44, epitomizes the ways in which women are asserting themselves in politics these days.  For decades, women in elective office felt compelled to blur the distinctions between them and men: presenting themselves as tough and able while largely concealing their softer qualities. But like many political women of her generation, Ms. Gillibrand feels no such constraints, regularly talking about the demands she faces as a mother and a wife.”

Top-Level Professionals View 40-Hour Work Week As Part-Time: Report

Harry Bradford • Huffington Post • July 1, 2011

“Supplanting the traditional 40-hour work week, many employees now work 50 hours or more. According to the report, male professionals especially work longer hours. 37.9 percent of men with professional and managerial positions worked over 50 hours a week between 2006 and 2008, compared to 34 percent from the years 1977 to 1979. With professional women, the change is even more striking: 14.4 percent work over 50 hours currently, while only 6.1 percent did 30 years ago.”

Company Perks Make a Comeback

Seth Figerman • Street • July 1, 2011

“Nearly 60% of companies forced to eliminate employee perks during the recession to cut costs have brought back some or all of them, while one-quarter of these companies plan to introduce benefits, according to a survey from the career firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas. The perks may include everything from salary bonuses to extra vacation time and more flexible schedules.”

Events

Understanding the Scheduling Challenges Facing Low-Wage Workers

• New America Foundation • July 7, 2011

“During this roundtable discussion, the authors of a recent report, ‘Flexible Workplace Solutions for Low-Wage Hourly Workers: A Framework for a National Conversation,’ will present new findings that help illuminate the scheduling challenges facing low-wage hourly workers and employer and policy solutions to these challenges. National experts on low-wage work and flexible work arrangements will react to these findings from the perspective of both workers and businesses, as well as reflect on next steps for employer practice and policy.”

Blogs

How the Great Reset Has Already Changed America

Richard Florida • Atlantic • July 5, 2011

“If we’re serious about creating good, family-supporting jobs, we have no choice but to upgrade those service jobs and turn them into adequate replacements for the blue-collar jobs that have been wiped out. We did it 70 or 80 years ago when we transformed manufacturing jobs from low-paid, dangerous work into high-paid jobs; we must do it again.”

Paid Sick Leave at a Stand-Off in Philly

Warren Davis • Labor Notes • July 5, 2011

“A Democratic mayor’s veto last Tuesday will not be enough to stop a three-year-old push for paid sick leave in Philadelphia.  More than 100 labor, faith, and community groups back the law, which would require most employers to pay for a modest number of days off due to illness. Employees would earn one hour of sick time for every 40 hours worked, up to seven paid days per year. For businesses of 10 employees or fewer, workers could earn up to four days.”

Changing Families, Changing Workplace Needs

Melissa J. Anderson • Glass Hammer • July 5, 2011

“One of the biggest ways workplaces are changing is to better support the needs of today’s families. Not only is the definition of family evolving, but as more women enter the workforce and achieve top roles, so are the responsibilities of family members. PwC’s panel on ‘Meeting the Needs of Modern Families’ set out to determine how today’s employees’ needs are changing as more voices come to the work/life conversation.”

What You Can Do to Support Military Families

Michelle Obama (Posted by Erin Lindsay) • White House Blog • July 4, 2011

“We know that when our troops are called to serve, their families serve right along with them. For military kids, that means stepping up to help with the housework and putting on a brave face through all those missed holidays, bedtimes and ballet recitals. For military spouses, it means pulling double-duty, doing the work of both parents, often while juggling a full-time job or trying to get an education.”

Are Modern Parents Really So Miserable?

• Mama Bee • July 1, 2011

“So many other things make me very angry.  That spending time with my children is sometime compromised by my worries over work.  That my husband and I both work long hours and spend less time with each other than we would like.  That countless securities […] are bound up with my job, making me feel inexplicably trapped […] So I’m trying to figure out why this book has struck such a chord.  And I think – if indeed it is parents who are relating to this content – that it’s not about putting your kids to bed per se.  It’s about the minute amount of time at the end of the day that husbands and wives have together.  It’s not really the kids who are squeezing this.  It’s the number of hours we spend at work.”

Global News

A healthy mind on the job

Jenny Little • Guardian • July 1, 2011

“One in five people who admit to their employer that they have a mental health problem has been fired or pushed out of their job, according to recent research from mental health charity Mind. Almost 80% of workplaces have no formal mental health policy, says the Shaw Trust, a disability charity.  Yet, a quarter of all people will experience mental ill health each year, and one out of six in the workplace is experiencing the problem at any one time, be it depression, anxiety or conditions such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder.”