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 7, 2011


A Woman’s Place

Ken Auletta • New Yorker • July 11, 2011

“She struggled with her own work-life balance, and developed a sense that too many women at Google and elsewhere were dropping out of the workforce after becoming mothers, in part because they had not pushed to get a job they loved before they began having children. In her six years at Google, she had hired scores of male and female executives, but, she says, “the men were getting ahead. The men were banging down the door for new assignments, promotions, the next thing to do, the next thing that stretches them. And the women—not all, most—you talked them into it. ‘Don’t you want to do this?’”

Two Years of Economic Recovery: Women Lose Jobs, Men Find Them

Rakesh Kochhar • Pew Research Center • July 6, 2011

“The sluggish recovery from the Great Recession has been better for men than for women. From the end of the recession in June 2009 through May 2011, men gained 768,000 jobs and lowered their unemployment rate by 1.1 percentage points to 9.5%.  Women, by contrast, lost 218,000 jobs during the same period, and their unemployment rate increased by 0.2 percentage points to 8.5% […] These post-recession employment trends are a sharp turnabout from the gender patterns that prevailed during the recession itself, when men lost more than twice as many jobs as women. Men accounted for 5.4 million, or 71%, of the 7.5 million jobs that disappeared from the U.S. economy from December 2007 through June 2009.”

Supporters cheer mandate for paid Seattle sick leave

Vanessa Ho • Seattle Post-Intelligencer • July 6, 2011

“The ordinance would require businesses to give workers in Seattle up to five, seven or nine days of paid sick leave a year, depending on the size of business and number of work hours accrued.  Larger businesses would have to pay more sick days than smaller businesses. Workers wouldn’t be eligible unless they’ve worked a minimum number of days. Businesses with less than 250 employees would have a year to comply, if the ordinance is passed. Bigger businesses would have six months.  At a public hearing held by a City Council committee Wednesday, advocates showed up in an enthusiastic display of force. They included labor interests, doctors, social-service providers and small business owners, including Cupcake Royale owner Jody Hall.”

Workplace Flexibility Can Spur Business Innovation

• MarketWatch • July 5, 2011

“Workplace flexibility for employees leads to greater efficiency and productivity, and spurs innovation in business, White House Senior Adviser Valerie Jarrett tells MarketWatch’s Ruth Mantell.”

Connecticut 1st state to require paid sick time

Stephen Singer • Associated Press • July 5, 2011

“Malloy’s signature was expected, but the absence of a gathering to mark the first-in-the-nation law took its chief legislative backer by surprise. Malloy signed the bill into law Friday but didn’t announce his action until Tuesday.  ‘I thought we were going to have a signing ceremony,’ said Sen. Edith Prague, the Labor and Public Employees Committee co-chairwoman who championed the bill. ‘But he signed it and that’s the main thing.’  A Malloy spokesman said the governor might schedule a ceremonial bill signing.”


Is 80 the New 65?

Sue Shellenbarger • Wall Street Journal - The Juggle • July 7, 2011

“Americans, in general, are living longer – sometimes much longer – than our parents. It might be worth considering adjusting our juggles accordingly.  A longer life may not only mean extending your career into your sixties and beyond, but also feeling freer to take career breaks during stages of heavy family or personal demands.”

How Can We Get Men to Do More at Home?

Andrea Doucet, Ute Frevert, Joshua Gans, Sandrine Devillard, Jeremy Adam Smith and Virginia Langbakk • New York Times - Room for Debate • July 6, 2011

“If greater equality between men and women in the work force has not led to greater equality in child-rearing and other domestic responsibilities, what will?”

Recession Didn’t Quash Work Life Flexibility, says Survey

Judy Martin • WorkLife Nation • July 6, 2011

“The conventional wisdom is that most people feel fortunate to be employed and don’t want to rock the boat. Sometimes workplace perks go the wayside. But steady policy, which has proved to benefit the bottom-line, sometimes weathers the stormy seas. And it seems workplace or work-life flexibility practices managed to be a survivor of the tumult.  Despite the economic riptides, work life flexibility was not squashed in the recession, but instead has grown in popularity according to the 2011 Work+Life Fit Reality Check. Eight out of ten respondents reported that levels of work life flexibility survived, unchanged.”

The New Male Mystique – It’s No Joke!

Ellen Galinsky • Huffington Post • July 5, 2011

“The finding that has received the most media attention is that fathers in dual-earner couples are working longer hours than men their ages without children. In fact, they work three hours more a week than men without children. More two in five (42%) work 50 or more hours a week, compared with one in three men their ages without children.”

Global News

Parental leave ‘pays off for business’

Andrea Hayward • AAP • July 7, 2011

“Employers can boost their productivity and profits by going beyond minimum parental leave requirements, the Fair Work Ombudsman says.  Ombudsman Nicholas Wilson said employers who consider their staff needs when it comes to parental leave can reap substantial rewards.”

Israel Debates Two-Day Weekends, and Its Lifestyle

Ethan Bronner • New York Times • July 6, 2011

“There is a bar-stool analysis of the Israeli-Arab conflict positing that tensions would subside significantly if the entire region would adopt a two-day weekend instead of the day-and-a-half many countries, including Israel, have lived with for decades. These people, the thinking goes, need a little more downtime.”