Thousands of highly talented, motivated individuals are unemployed. They have JDs from Harvard, MBAs from Wharton and PhDs from Stanford. They built careers, and then one day, they stopped. Why? Because they are mothers.
Our full-time jobs require our presence at frequent early morning and late evening events, plus occasional weekends. All of our extended family lives a plane ride away, and paying for a nanny --- not in our budget! We get by by making significant sacrifices to our careers and our pocketbook.
Society, and culture, has changed around us and with us over the past few decades. It's evolution at work, or perhaps another revolution, as where we are now seems to be a high-tech iteration of somewhere we've been before.
Discussions about using flexibility in order to make work "work" better for employees and employers can be difficult and that's why some people try to avoid them. But what if you were forced to sit down and talk?
One of the most effective ways to have happy, hardworking and engaged employees is to allow them to make reasonable adjustments to their own schedules that allow them the most efficiency in both work and their lives.
New information from the Pew Research Center has proven what we have already been seeing as a major shift in the workplace. Working mothers have become the breadwinning -- or sole -- sources of income in 40 percent of households with children.
During this time of technological advancements that make telecommuting easier, Sandberg's encouragement of women, knowing that flexibility can help advance a career while supporting parenthood, is a definite relief.
Then snowstorms hit the Midwest and East Coast, closing schools and businesses, and people turned to -- you guessed it -- telecommuting to stay productive and safe. When the snow melts, will the backlash against teleworking continue?
True, we all have our reasons for wanting a job that offers some type of flexibility. Often times, such schedules are associated with parents who would like more time with their kids, but what about relationships as a whole?
As I contemplated what to write about in my post for National Work and Family Month, an interesting piece of research crossed my desk entitled, "Are Family-Friendly Workplace Practices a Valuable Firm Resource?"
We need to explore more fully the importance of predictability in scheduling and the options for expanded paid and unpaid leave in order to address the needs for flexibility of an even broader group of workers.
The data about the benefits of virtual work are compelling. Is it really just unthinking fear that is stopping us? But businesses must recognize that there is a flipside to the risks of change - which is that there are risks in not changing, too.