My job includes searching through my Google Reader and peer reviewed journal alerts for content to add to the website of the Sloan Work and Family Research Network. In doing so, I feel a bit like I'm holding back the floodgates. Research and news sources are inundated with information about the intersection of work and life. One of the perks to aggregating so much information about the work-family interface, not only in the United States but also in other industrialized and developing countries, is the opportunity to observe emerging themes.
In honor of National Work & Family Month, I've compiled a list of the top five most talked about issues affecting working families in the United States and abroad over approximately the past six months. This list is based on trends that I have observed while combing through journal articles, newspapers, blogs, and various RSS feeds that address work-family issues. I have included links to information that I think sums up the issue in a unique or insightful way.#5. The Boomers are aging! The Boomers are aging! As our population ages, a whole host of work-family issues arise: elder care, phased retirement, talent management, and an aging workforce.
- CMI: UK: Managing an Ageing Workforce
- Fast Company: Change the Game: Add Aging to the Parent-Centric Work+Life Debate
- NY Times: Older Unemployed Struggle to Rejoin the Work Force
- NZ Herald News: Elderly Population a Future Concern
- Sloan Center on Aging and Work at Boston College: Talent Pressures and the Aging Workforce
- Stanford Center on Longevity: New Realities of an Older America
- UCLA: Providing for Older Parents: Is It a Family Affair?
#4. To sue, or not to sue: The costs of discrimination based on sex, gender, and family responsibilities are rising.
Here are some examples of lawsuits filed as well as commentaries on the issue of Family Responsibilities Discrimination (FRD), gender discrimination, and pay equity:
- Ceridian: Employee Produced Evidence that Termination for Sick Leave to Care for Child Was Pretext for Discrimination
- The Glass Hammer: Are Lawsuits the Right Way to Achieve Gender Equality in the Workplace?
- Human Resource Executive Online: Un-Family-Friendly
- MomsRising: Women Hitting the Wall: Discussion of Two Reports on Women's Earnings
- Slate: Yes, You Can Get Fired After Taking Maternity Leave
- Sloan Work and Family Research Network: History in the Making: Gender Discrimination Class Action Suits Break Records
- Women's eNews: Career Ladder for Japan's 'New' Women Still Tilted
#3. The Motherhood Manifesto revisited: Dads need work-life fit, too.
One way to deal with #4 (the rising costs of discrimination) is to work on #3 (work-life balance for all workers).
- American Banker: Work-Life Balance: Men Want It, Too
- Boston College Center for Work & Family: The New Dad: Exploring Fatherhood within a Career Context
- Center for American Progress: Reshaping the Work-Family Debate: Why Men and Class Matter: Panel Discussion
- CEPR: Parental Leave Policies in 21 Countries: Assessing Generosity and Gender Equality
- Newsweek: Why We Need to Reimagine Masculinity
- News & Star: Opinion: Nice Picture David, But it Isn't This Easy for All Dads
- Slate: Snack Bags and a Regular Paycheck: The Happy Life of a Swedish Dad
- Reuters: Japan Urges More Dads to Swap Desks for Diapers
#2. How flexible can the middle class be?: The struggles of working families are being discussed in the context of economic security.
Thanks to Joe Biden and his Middle Class Task Force, flexible work schedules took center stage.
- Corporate Voices for Working Families: Stop Driving to Work and Start Driving Business Results: The Case for Workplace Flexibility
- Families and Work Institute: Vice President Biden Holds Middle Class Task Force Event on Work and Family
- Korea Times: Flexitime -- The EU Experience
- Sloan Work and Family Research Network: Notes from Vice President Biden's Middle Class Task Force Event on Work and Family
- Washington Post: How Joe Biden Can Help Working Parents
- Workplace Flexibility 2010: The White House Forum on Workplace Flexibility
#1. It's the economy!: The recession and its effect on working families are number one and probably will be for quite some time.
The recession is supposedly over, but its impact on work-life fit remains.
- AllAcademic: Paper Presented at SASE: Work Family Policies, Satisfaction, and Economic Crisis
- Associated Press: Recession Rips at U.S. Marriages, Expands Income Gap
- Center for American Progress: The Other Half: Unmarried Women, Economic Well-Being, and the Great Recession
- Ceridian: Amid Economic Woes, Americans Still Seriously Concerned About Work/Life Balance
- Corporate Voices: Poverty Data Highlights Growing Class of "Working Poor": How Business Can Help Working Families
- National Association of Child Care Resource & Referral Agencies: Parents and The High Cost of Child Care: 2010 Update
- NCFR: Press Release: Wives as the New Breadwinners
- SHRM: Examining Employee Benefits in the Midst of a Recovering Economy
- Wall Street Journal: Is Flextime a Casualty of the Recession?
Do you have articles of interest or topics you think that I missed? What themes do you think will emerge over the next 6 months? Let's keep the discussion rolling!