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September 6, 2015
Several companies recently announced new or expanded perks to help the mothers in their ranks: extending maternity leaves, paying to fly a baby and nanny when mom takes a work trip or to ship breast milk back home, offering a mother local work for the first year of her baby’s life, or allowing her to return to work part-time at full pay after maternity leave. This “arms race” of baby-friendly benefits is welcome, if overdue. At the same time, research pertaining to the Millennial generation is yielding particularly intriguing insights for the future of breadwinning and caregiving. Still,...
August 29, 2014
To read this blog post in Engish, click here . La Semana Nacional de Teletrabajo estuvo zumbando, irónicamente, sobre las prohibiciones del teletrabajo. La semana pasada, Best Buy anunció el final de su programa de trabajo desde casa conocido como ROWE por sus siglas en Inglés (ambiente-laboral-orientado-exclusivamente-por- resultados), pisándole los talones a la prohibición de Yahoo sobre el trabajo remoto que ocurrió una semana antes. Luego, las tormentas de nieve cayeron en el oeste medio y en la costa este, cerrando escuelas y negocios, y las personas acudieron a –usted lo adivinó- el...
May 2, 2014
Since 2012 when The Atlantic published Anne-Marie Slaughter’s reflection on “ Why women still can’t have it all ,” a spate of books have appeared. Some describe the problem: mothers are Overwhelmed and Maxed Out . Others present solutions, on everything from Getting to 50/50 to What Works for Women at Work, and how to Lean In to a career. Yet, as Ann Crittenden notes in The New York Times , even after decades of these books, the pressures on mothers have worsened, despite sensible tips offered in them. The problem, says Crittenden, is the “fallacy that a systemic problem can be addressed if...
March 12, 2014
The first MAKERS CONFERENCE was held in February, including a celebration of the life and work of Gloria Steinem. In honor of her eightieth birthday, it featured a video with touching and funny statements from Oprah, Ellen DeGeneres, Ruth Bader Ginsberg, Katie Couric, and others about Steinem's life's work that, as Marlo Thomas summarized, "connected the dots between all women and created a sisterhood." At the end, the screen displayed a simple hashtag, #WWGD, which stands for "What would Gloria do?" What would Gloria do to resolve the unfinished business of the women's movement she helped...
July 12, 2013
Great Britain's royal baby has a title but no birthday yet. Due any moment, the third-in-line to the throne already has thrust Prince William and Kate Middleton's marriage philosophy and parenting practices into the limelight, where they will remain for nearly two decades. William and Kate promise a more modern style of marriage and family than their royal predecessors. Though the Prince is professionally employed 600 miles away in Wales as a search-and-rescue pilot in the Royal Air Force, he vowed to "move heaven and earth" to be at Kate's side when she gives birth at St. Mary's Hospital in...
March 13, 2013
This story originally appeared in Psychology Today. National Telework Week buzzed about, ironically, bans on telecommuting. Last week, Best Buy announced the end of its work-at-home program known as ROWE (results-only-work-environment), on the heels of Yahoo’s ban on remote work a week before. Then snowstorms hit the midwest and east coast, closing schools and businesses, and people turned to — you guessed it — teleworking to stay productive and safe. When the snow melts, will the backlash against teleworking continue? The temptation for companies to mimic one another always exists, but this...
March 12, 2013
The volcanic national debate about women, work, and family erupts weekly these days, with Sheryl Sandberg’s much-anticipated book, Lean In, published yesterday, the news last week that Best Buy ended its flexible work-from-home ROWE initiative, and Marissa Mayer’s ban on remote working at Yahoo! the week before. The Mayer memo said Yahoo! needs workers side-by-side to foster creativity, innovation, and effectiveness -- despite its stature as an Internet path breaker. Emotions ran high , fueled by a passion for working flexibility many Silicon Valley workers feel. Parents, in particular, prize...
October 9, 2012
How fitting that Marissa Mayer birthed her baby on the eve of National Work and Family month. Yet she disappoints other moms , bloggers and work-family advocates by stating she'll work throughout her maternity leave , appearing on Fortune Magazine 's cover in a decidedly not-pregnant glam shot and remaining silent about the feminist status her new power-mom-CEO role confers. Leave the woman alone, right? She just had a baby! And if she's like most of us, right about now she's sleep-deprived, sore-nippled and shocked at the new world she just entered of human infant needs. But here's why what...
September 20, 2012
Back-to-school night: With four kids, I’ve attended a few. Last night the Principal at my children’s grade school delivered an opening message worth memorizing: Eat, read, sleep. Families today are busy! It sounds trite, but it’s true. With 24/7 connectivity, a recession, and a global economy, most parents are working longer hours than ever. The majority of American households have two parents in the paid workforce; hence, the Principal’s heartfelt message: try to eat dinner together as a family, sans gadgets! Even if some are absent because of extra-curricular activities, sit down with those...
September 14, 2012
Motherhood, apple pie and a good speech: Michelle Obama hit the bull's eye in her Democratic Convention speech . But naming herself "mom-in-chief"--while endearing--missed the mark. Much ink has spilled already over her use of the phrase "mom-in-chief": "If you feel let down by an arc that begins with anti-colonialism, immigration and women being dragged to jail, but returns to the cult of motherhood, you're not alone." ( Irin Carmon at Salon.com). The speech was "amazing" but the phrase led to "oratorical whiplash." ( Janice D'Arcy in The Washington Post ). "She looked the nation in the eye...
November 26, 2011
On Wednesday a new poll [PDF] was released that shows that people who are most likely to need paid family leave are least likely to be aware of programs that provide it. Specifically, California registered voters were surveyed to assess their awareness of the state’s groundbreaking Paid Family Leave Act, passed nearly 10 years ago. Fewer than 43 percent had “seen, read or heard” of the law allowing them to take paid leave to care for a new child or seriously ill family member. The program provides Californians with up to 55 percent of their wages for six weeks from a state disability...
October 6, 2011
This morning my six-year-old snuggled next to me on the couch, an iPad on his lap open to a smurfs game app; the Wall Street Journal on my lap, headline blazing "Steven Paul Jobs, 1955-2011." I lifted the paper up to show him the photo of Jobs and told him that the inventor of the iPad had died. "Will they still make iPads, now that he's away?" my son asked, concerned. I assured him that Jobs' company would continue to build them. Silently he returned to his game. To all the tributes today about Steve Jobs, his life, and his companies, I want to add a thank you for all that his innovative...
August 25, 2011
At a time when work, workers and the workplace are “job one” for the struggling U.S. economy, it’s discouraging to find out that the nation just can’t get serious about taking half of its workforce seriously. The female half. I’m referring to Wednesday’s court decision in which U.S. District Judge Loretta Preska dismissed a class-action discrimination suit by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission against financial services corporation Bloomberg L.P. Preska ruled that there was not sufficient statistical evidence that Bloomberg women employees who became pregnant between 2002 and 2009...
August 6, 2010
Even in a recession, flex-time, job-sharing, compressed schedules, and telecommuting increase employee productivity and reduce costs. The net effect? A boost to the bottom line.
April 20, 2010
Ten years ago I gave birth to two babies: one girl, one boy. Their birthday is today, Equal Pay Day. Right now they are neck-in-neck with their weekly allowance, but if they were fifteen years older, my daughter's college degree, MBA, technological training, organizing and management experience, and even her Rhodes Scholarship would all probably be worth less than those of her brother. Why? Because there is a stubborn pay gap between males and females that persists even among those with equal credentials. On average American women earn 77 cents for every dollar American men earn. Unequal pay...
March 15, 2010
People want options to work flexible schedules and remotely from home. Other ways to make the workplace more compatible with today's workers' lives include results-only work environments, taking infants to work, redesigning career, tracks, and opting for contract work.
October 30, 2009
I’ve been on a one-woman campaign to resurrect the phrase, paycheck job , used by Betty Friedan in The Feminine Mystique forty years ago. Friedan was referring, of course, to jobs outside the home for which people receive money. She recognized that the unpaid job of caring for children and home was also “work”—as do most people today. But by placing the adjective “paycheck” in front of “job,” she implicitly elevated the status of stay-at-home mothers’ (and fathers’) equally important job. Words have power. Now Karen Kornbluh and Rachel Homer write in Ms. Magazine that we need “Paycheck...
October 23, 2009
No doubt The Shriver Report , “A Woman’s Nation Changes Everything,” meant to stir up debate and discussion. Hoopla has surrounded the news that women have just about reached parity with men by comprising 50% of the paid workforce; and that women and men agree on much about their evolving roles as both breadwinners and caregivers. Now here comes the reality check. Judith Warner says in the New York Times that “life for women has not come together.” Expectations raised in 1970s for equality at work and at home don’t match women’s lived reality today. That’s why women report in surveys (such as...
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