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Kathleen E. Christensen
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Kathleen E. Christensen directs the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation's Working Longer program designed to deepening scholarly and public understanding of aging Americans’ work patterns. In 1994 she founded the Foundation's Workplace, Workforce and Working Families program which she directed until 2010. All blogs reflect her personal opinion.

Under her leadership, the Workplace Workforce and Working Families program played a vital role in developing work-family scholarship and in supporting effective workplaces that meet the needs of working parents and older workers. To that end, in 2003, the Foundation launched the National Initiative on Workplace Flexibility, a collaborative effort designed to make workplace flexibility a standard of the American workplace

Prior to joining the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, Dr. Christensen was a Professor of Psychology at the Graduate School and University Center of City University of New York, before that she served as a policy analyst at the Urban Institute in Washington, D.C.

Dr. Christensen has published extensively on the changing nature of work and its relationship to the family. Her books include Workplace Flexibility: Realigning 20th Century Jobs for a 21st Century Workforce (Cornell University Press, 2010); Contingent Work: American Employment Relations in Transition (Cornell University Press, 1998); Turbulence in the American Workplace (Oxford University Press, 1991); Women and Home-based Work: The Unspoken Contract (Henry Holt, 1988) and The New Era of Home-based Work: Directions and Policies (Westview Press, 1988). Her editorials have appeared on the national Op Ed pages of the Washington Post, USA Today, Chicago Tribune, Philadelphia Inquirer and Atlanta Constitution.

Dr. Christensen is a member of the Conference Board’s Work-Life Leadership Council and has served on a number of national work-life advisory boards.

She received her doctorate from the Pennsylvania State University, where she was a Danforth Fellow, as well as a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellow. She has also been a Mellon Fellow and Rockefeller Fellow at the Aspen Institute for Humanistic Studies. In 2004, she was awarded the Work-Life Legacy Award by the Families and Work Institute for her role in founding the field of work-life.

Entries by Kathleen E. Christensen

How to Cure a Toxic Workplace Culture

(0) Comments | Posted September 24, 2015 | 12:30 AM

In 1914, Henry Ford unveiled two new inventions: The Model T and the 8-hour workweek. One hundred years ago, they both worked great. Today, not so much. We innovate and update our cars every year -- along with our phones, our homes and just about everything else in our lives...

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A Little Flex Goes a Long Way

(0) Comments | Posted April 16, 2013 | 10:36 AM

"Why Women Still Can't Have it all," "Yahoo Orders Home Workers Back to the Office," "Sheryl Sandberg, Marisa Meyer and the Great Baby Debate." If you read the headlines about workplace flexibility -- of which there have been many lately -- you might be left with the impression that there...

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Flexibility Works, When Done Right

(2) Comments | Posted February 26, 2013 | 7:44 AM

Yahoo's recent move announcing a blanket ban on employees working remotely has caused quite a stir in the tech community and around the web. When Lisa Belkin wrote about the subject this weekend, more than 800 people commented and thousands upon thousands have shared her blog post. The...

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Older Workers, Adult Children and Working Longer

(0) Comments | Posted October 29, 2012 | 10:26 AM

The tenth annual National Work and Family Month comes at a time when issues of work-life balance are enjoying unprecedented attention. Anne-Marie Slaughter's provocative Atlantic essay on "having it all" has been read and discussed by millions over the past few months; new Yahoo!...

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Workplace Flexibility Doesn't Hurt

(0) Comments | Posted September 24, 2012 | 2:25 PM

In a New York Times op-ed piece published last week, Susan J. Lambert contrasts the work-life conflicts facing salaried employees with those of hourly employees. She notes that salaried employees often seem to have too much work while their hourly counterparts often have too little:

"Professional positions come...

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Let's Talk About Work & Family

(3) Comments | Posted June 25, 2012 | 9:52 AM

One of the most popular articles on the Internet this week has been Anne-Marie Slaughter's provocative Atlantic essay, Why Women Still Can't Have It All. The article has broken traffic records to the Atlantic's website and inspired responses from thousands of working women. Much of the coverage has...

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Working Longer: Creating a 21st Century Workplace for the 21st Century Workforce

(5) Comments | Posted May 23, 2012 | 5:07 PM

American workers are getting older.

The reasons for this aging process are both positive (people are living longer, are in good health later in life, enjoy their jobs and want to keep working) and not so positive (many people don't feel financially secure enough to stop working at traditional...

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Building a Grassroots Movement: Taking Workplace Flexibility From Private to Public

(1) Comments | Posted October 20, 2011 | 4:24 PM

By now it should come as no surprise to anyone to hear that American parents are struggling to meet the conflicting demands of their jobs and their families. As the field of work-life research has grown over the past two decades, we've seen hundreds of studies showing that structural changes...

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The False Choice: A Flexible Job or a Good Job?

(2) Comments | Posted February 13, 2011 | 5:11 PM

Workplace flexibility: eighty percent of American employees say they want it, nearly half of job seekers rate it as a higher priority than salary, and thousands of companies have embraced it as an efficient way to keep employees happy and boost business productivity. But despite all this, there is still...

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How Can You Tell If Workplace Flexibility Is Working? Ask the Employees

(3) Comments | Posted February 1, 2011 | 3:45 PM

Every clued-in business leader in America is now aware that workplace flexibility is a business imperative. Employees across all industries say their lives are increasingly complicated and the traditional workplace structure just doesn't work for them anymore. They are demanding new options, so much so that 45 percent...

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But What About Me? The Workplace Flexibility Gap

(2) Comments | Posted January 12, 2011 | 2:26 PM

The Huffington Post recently named the growth of workplace flexibility at Fortune 500 companies as one of the top stories of the last decade. That's no surprise if you look at corporate data. A recent survey of CEOs found that the #1 investment challenge facing business...

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Exhausted? Time to Pace the Work-Life Marathon

(0) Comments | Posted November 29, 2010 | 3:39 PM

Any runner can tell you that you can't finish a marathon by sprinting the entire way. You've got to pace yourself, or at some point you're going to collapse and crash. I think about that maxim when I look at the way Americans work today.

Fifty years ago, the life...

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