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For Parents Without Paid Sick Days, Back-to-School Season Brings Stress and Uncertainty

August 29, 2012
Back to school means a lot of things. In some families, it means shopping for school supplies, helping kids become reacquainted with their alarm clocks, and learning new school bus schedules. But for the millions of employed parents in jobs that don’t let them earn paid sick days, it means another set of worries: uncertainty about what to do if a child gets sick. For those parents, a child with a sore throat or the flu can mean an impossible choice between sending a sick child to school, leaving a sick child home alone, or losing pay and risking a job by staying home to provide care. And with...
Debra Ness's picture

A Personal Case for Living a Less Intentional Career Path

August 21, 2012
Lately I’ve seen a raft of new books aimed at helping women achieve success, which include lists of “secrets,” often contradictory. Looking back over my experience, here’s an alternative: be open to constant learning and risk-taking, live a full life and have a great career. Several years ago my book “Women Lead the Way: Your Guide to Stepping Up to Leadership and Changing the World” was published, and I began a cross-country tour to speak about the “30 Percent Solution,” which describes why and how having a critical mass of women at every power table is essential to a robust future...
Linda Tarr-Whelan's picture

The New Work Battle Cry: Focus on What Matters!

August 20, 2012
We’ve all had those moments sitting at the dinner table and our phone goes off. A new email has arrived. Or maybe it happens at 11 pm right as you are settling into bed for the night. You tell yourself it will only take 5 minutes, but those 5 minutes can quickly turn into a half hour of work. Once it becomes the norm to be “on call” 24/7 , it can be hard to break the cycle. Why do we keep our phones next to our bed? Why do we allow our work email to keep us from enjoying our friends and family at the dinner table? It isn’t because we are addicted to our gadgets; it is because our work culture...
Jody Thompson's picture

New BLS Data Confirm Unequal Access to Paid Leave Among U.S. Workers

August 17, 2012
Yesterday the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released data from the American Time Use Survey (ATUS) on access to and use of paid leave by American workers. This is the first time the ATUS has included questions on leave-taking among American workers, with a module paid for by the Department of Labor’s Women’s Bureau. The findings from the 2011 Leave Module of the ATUS reveal that many American workers lack access to paid leave from their jobs, though access varies by worker and occupational characteristics. Overall, 59 percent of workers in the United States have access to paid leave; 4 in...
Kevin Miller's picture

Work-life Balance and Our Outdated School Schedule

July 25, 2012
Last weekend, as I balanced spending time with my five-year-old daughter and completing numerous work-related projects, I read "Why Women Still Can't Have it All" , the cover article in The Atlantic by Anne-Marie Slaughter that is generating lots of buzz. I felt like I was reliving my own life through her words. Having worked in my early career to advance women in politics and for 10 years in the education policy world of Washington, D.C. -- my last position serving as a Deputy Assistant Secretary in the U.S. Department of Education in the Clinton Administration -- I am a member of the...
Jennifer Davis's picture

Working (Class) Maternity Leave: What Does Marissa Mayer’s Plan Mean for the Rest of Us?

July 25, 2012
Marissa Mayer’s appointment as Yahoo’s CEO is a double-edged sword. It is, on its face, a shot in the arm to the perception of workplace equality and at the same time a reminder of how far we have to go to reach fairness for mothers working outside the home. It is also a reminder that we need mothers’ voices in elected office to fight for paid family leave, paid sick days, and affordable, accessible healthcare for all families. But who has time to run? As a mother of a nine-month-old baby and the Executive Director of the Barbara Lee Family Foundation with a mission to engage women in...
Adrienne Kimmell's picture

Telework and Promotions: New Study Emphasizes Need for Results-Focus

July 23, 2012
Thanks to a new study pubished in MIT Sloan Management Review this week, we have some fun new terms to discuss today. Except, they're not really new. If you haven't read any of the multitude of articles (like here , here , and here ) about this study, then here's a quick overview. The study argues that office workers and bosses are heavily influenced by “passive face time,” the mere presence of someone’s face in the office on a regular basis. The data shows, whether consciously or unconsciously, managers focus on presenteeism when it comes down to performance reviews and promotions. Now for...
Cali Ressler's picture

You Can Do What Mayer and Slaughter Do

July 20, 2012
What’s stunning about the reaction to Anne-Marie Slaughter’s article “ Why Women Still Can’t Have it All ” and the news that new Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer is pregnant is the size and scope of the reaction itself. And I can explain that reaction with a screen shot. Those two tweets. The first one she sent broadcasts competence “I’m a new CEO tomorrow.” And the second one suggests warmth and caring “I’m going to be a mom.” Right next to each other. Tweeted within 7 hours of each other. A woman who embodies competence AND warmth and caring. In our collective cultural subconscious that does not...
Kristin Maschka's picture

"Can I Have it All?" is the Wrong Question

July 20, 2012
When I speak to groups of young women and men, more and more frequently the question I get isn’t “Can I have it all?” it’s “Should I have kids at all?” Young women and couples watch as friends have children, and see new mothers and fathers completely stressed out juggling work and family, marriages unraveling, bank accounts strained, careers derailed, and hobbies and exercise and sleep and friends pushed aside. They wonder if they really want to sign up for that. Couples that already have one small child ask me a different question, “Can we afford to have another child at all?” They know from...
Kristin Maschka's picture

"Working Maternity Leaves" Aren't the Solution

July 18, 2012
This blog was cross-posted from Womenstake , the National Women's Law Center's blog. On Monday, the news broke that a pregnant woman is now leading a Fortune 500 company—an important and exciting milestone. Before being appointed CEO of Yahoo this week, Marissa Mayer disclosed her pregnancy to Yahoo’s Board. When she announced her pregnancy publicly on Monday, she praised the Board for its “evolved thinking” in hiring her anyway – that is, for not violating the Pregnancy Discrimination Act. I’m not so sure following the law is all that praiseworthy, but here’s what made me cringe as I read...
Liz Watson's picture

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