Blog Post List
February 25, 2011
When Adele Diamond of the University of British Columbia wants to assess the brain development of young children, she often uses a task called the Day/Night Task. A child is shown a picture of night (a moon) and is supposed to say the opposite (day). Then he or she is shown a picture of day (a sun) and is again supposed to say the opposite (night). The task measures executive functions of the brain, including whether we can resist the temptation to go on autonomic and instead follow directions. Last week, Families and Work Institute released two reports for the Department of Labor's Women's...
February 3, 2011
At a press conference on February 1, 2011 at the National Press Club announcing an unprecedented partnership between Families and Work Institute (FWI) and the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) to create workplaces for the 21st century, Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff , said that when he meets world leaders, he works to understand what life is like for them. And likewise when he makes decisions for the military, he works to understand what life is like for them and for their families. And that was the theme song of the press conference--asking, listening,...
April 19, 2010
This year, a number of changes are planned by the Obama Administration, the Department of Education, the National Governors Association, the Council of Chief State School Officers and others to address the achievement gap in the United States , a gap that begins before children even enter school and widen s as children grow up. The achievement gap , which the National Governors Association calls “one of t he most pressing education-policy challenges that states currently face” is almost universally defined as a problem of low-income children and the distance between them and th eir higher-...
January 27, 2010
In listening to the political commentators prepare for the State of the Union Address tonight, most of them are telling the President that he must reframe the discussion, have courage, and focus on jobs, jobs, jobs. I think that the President is doing something quite courageous that SADLY may be missed in the media dissection of, and public debate about the speech. If the messages being disseminated from the White House and from the Vice President's Task Force on Middle Income Families in the past days are true, the President will not only be focusing on jobs, but he will be focusing on what...
September 22, 2009
New data show that employees who receive at least five paid days off per year for personal illness are healthier, and enjoy greater personal well-being. As our country looks at comprehensive health reform measures, we must consider policies that help employees stay healthy and engaged at work, even if these policies may seem, at first glance, unrelated to the provision of health care. Sixty-three percent of American employees receive at least five paid days off per year for personal illness. However, low-wage/low-income employees are much less likely to receive at least five paid sick days—...
August 14, 2009
Smart employers are using flexible work options to manage through the recession—and help their employees manage. The organization I head, the Families and Work Institute , highlights 260 award-winning employers across the US using innovative approaches and practices including: • Giving employees four Fridays off in the summer in lieu of raises the organization cannot afford • Allowing employees to work at home 1-2 days a week to save on commuting costs • Giving employees the option to take unlimited, unpaid personal time off during the downturn, while keeping full medical benefits and the...
May 13, 2009
On June 7 I attended the event that is now plastering the news: the First Lady Michelle Obama spoke out on work life issues. For example: New York Times and ABC News . You may have even heard some of the lines from her speech at Corporate Voices for Working Families—that she is a 120 percenter, meaning that if she hasn’t done any job at 120 percent, she thinks she is failing or that she has a blessed life now, with all kinds of support including a personal assistant—everyone needs a personal assistant! And you may have heard that she called for more work life assistance, from paid time off to...
February 2, 2009
I was at the same time cheered and chagrined to read an article in the New York Times Sports Section last weekend (January 24) about WNBA star Candace Parker’s effort to balance career and family. I was pleased to read yet another example of a high achieving woman making choices about finding the right fit between parenting and professional life on her own terms. Over the past several months Americans have become familiar with a 40-something female candidate for Vice President who is the mother of five; a 30-something international film star and UN Goodwill Ambassador who is the mother of six...
January 31, 2009
I was at the same time cheered and chagrined to read an article in the New York Times Sports Section last weekend (January 24) about WNBA star Candace Parker’s effort to balance career and family.
October 15, 2008
I am glad that the 2008 election has raised the issue of working families. This has been a "sleeper" issue, but no more! After the nomination of Sarah Palin, working families are responding in such high numbers that they are jamming the airwaves, filling up blogs, even crashing websites as they make their varying opinions heard!