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?

August 8, 2011


Exiting Employees Are More Disgruntled Than Ever

Joe Light • Wall Street Journal • August 8, 2011

“More than three-quarters of departing employees say they wouldn’t recommend their employer to others, the worst percentage in at least five years, according to exit interviews aggregated by the Corporate Executive Board Co., a research and advisory services firm.  In 2008, just as the recession began, only 42% of employees said they wouldn’t recommend their employer. The 2011 data were based on exit surveys of more than 4,300 employees from 80 companies, most with more than $2 billion in annual revenue.”

Lack of jobs for blacks creates tension between black lawmakers and Obama

Ylan Q. Mui • Washington Post • August 7, 2011

“The CBC has repeatedly argued that the high unemployment rate should be addressed through targeted programs, such as directing government grants to the poorest neighborhoods. The unemployment rate for African Americans is more than double that for whites and higher than the rate of any other racial group, according to government data. It inched up in July to 16.8 percent from 16.6 percent a year ago, while the jobless rate for whites fell half a percentage point to 8.2 percent.”

New doctors have shorter hours, better work-life balance

Teresa Chin • Plain Dealer • August 6, 2011

“On the surface, discussion in the medical community about the change has focused on patient safety. But the new standards also have sparked a debate about the commitment it takes to be a competent clinician, work-life balance and what it all means for the changing face of medicine.  For the first century of existence of modern residency, which began in 1889, there were no national rules regulating new physicians’ hours. The belief within the profession was that residents needed to spend long hours with patients—often up to 36 hours at a stretch—observing and treating the real-time progression of disease to become capable practitioners.  During those shifts, residents had to make numerous, complex medical decisions on little or no sleep. Work weeks of 120 hours were normal.”

U.S. Posts Stronger Job Growth in July

Motoko Rich • New York Times • August 5, 2011

“With extended unemployment benefits scheduled to expire at the end of this year, 13.9 million people remain out of work, 6.2 million of whom have been searching for jobs for six months or longer.  An additional 8.4 million are working part time because they cannot find a full-time job, and 1.1 million have become so discouraged that they have stopped looking for work altogether. Including such people, the broader measure of unemployment was 16.1 percent in July.”

Michael Rosenberg: New Pistons coach Lawrence Frank seeks right mix between work, family

Michael Rosenberg • Detroit Free Press • August 5, 2011

“He talks about balance, about spending time with family, about managing the basketball obsession that has gripped him since he was a teenager. […] At some point, staying at the office becomes counterproductive. So much of coaching is about knowing when to back off, about taking a few hours away to refresh your brain. But it’s an obsessive culture, and Frank was especially driven.”


Share or Die: Youth in Recession

Liz Kofman • Sloan Work and Family Blog • August 8, 2011

“The truth is, college students have a poor sense of the options and limitations they’re likely to face or how best to prepare for the work-life gauntlet. Real World 101 is conspicuously absent from college course offerings.  And in a country without guaranteed paid parental leave, sick leave, vacation time, or public child care that’s downright irresponsible of our alma maters.”

College graduates earn 84% more than high school grads, study says

Tiffany Hsu • Los Angeles Times - Money & Company • August 5, 2011

“The gender and racial gap persists. To earn as much as their male colleagues, women tend to need much higher degrees, even while working the same hours. Black and Latino master’s degree-holders don’t out-earn white college graduates. But Asians with graduate degrees out-earn all other races and ethnicities at the same educational level.”

Labor Force Participation Hits New Low

Sara Murray • Wall Street Journal - Real Time Economics • August 5, 2011

“The employment-population ratio, the share of the working-age population that is employed, showed a similar trend. It, ticked down to 58.1% from 58.2% in June, another new low for this downturn.  ‘July 1983–a time when American feminism was only halfway born–was the last time we saw an employment-to-population ratio this low,’ Brad DeLong, a University of California, Berkeley, economist wrote Friday.”

A breakthrough solution for business, workers and climate

Joan Blades • Custom Fit-Workplace • August 5, 2011

“Virtual work is ripe for becoming a modern working norm. What will it take to get all employers discover the advantages?  You might hear it called ‘virtual work,’ ‘telework,’ ‘flexible work,’ ‘remote work’ – all refer to work done outside the traditional workplace. Call it what you will, we can no longer afford to underutilize this opportunity to boost productivity, reduce the trade deficit and improve our environment.”

Choosing Career Over Kids: Are Women Doing it on Purpose?

Samantha Parent Walravens • Huffington Post • August 4, 2011

“A recent study conducted by the Center for Work-Life Policy, the New York think tank headed by economist Sylvia Ann Hewlett, has found that almost half, or 43 percent, of Generation X women are childless. […] According to lead author Lauren Leader-Chivee, the women surveyed, who ranged in age between 33 and 46 years old, were born during the height of the feminist movement. They were raised to think of motherhood as an obstacle to having a successful career. So they’ve put off having children—or avoided it entirely.”

“An office built on women’s norms would be more innovative around policy issues that relate to family, suggests Monica McGrath, a human resource consultant, executive coach and adjunct professor of management at Wharton. That doesn’t just mean offering flextime—it means helping women manage their child care responsibilities and family roles while also helping grow their careers.”

Global News

Flexible working hours under threat, claims TUC

Andrew Sparrow • Guardian • August 8, 2011

“Government plans to promote flexible working could backfire because ministers plan to weaken the law forcing firms to take the issue seriously, Brendan Barber, the TUC’s general secretary, has claimed.  In a submission released on Monday, the TUC said that a proposal intended to extend the right to request flexible working hours could actually make it easier for employers to say no because the requirement would no longer be statutory.”