Many eloquently written books and a huge number of newspaper articles are describing the same big problem with having it all: workplaces are still designed for a breadwinner-homemaker model that is no longer an ideal or an option for most of us. But how can the paradigm shift happen to change this design—to allow real choices for women and men regarding work and family life?
Employees are often afraid to use family-friendly benefits because of perceived stigma, according to a study published earlier this year in the academic journal Personnel Psychology in which 154 firefighters and 440 nurses took part.
The Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) and the National Partnership for Women & Families have released an updated version of our employer paid leave chart, New and Expanded Employer Paid Family Leave Policies (2015-2016), which highlights new paid family leave policies announced from 2015 through the present by high-profile companies. Of note is that recently, two companies, Deloitte and Discovery Communications, have begun providing family leave that allows for elder care and care for a seriously ill family member.
Chung found that men and women in full-time jobs with flexible schedules worked about the same amount of overtime hours. The same went for mothers and fathers. The men, however, saw an earnings increase beyond overtime pay after switching from a concrete schedule to flexible hours. They banked an average of 1,000 more euros (about $1,125) per year. The women enjoyed no such gains.
Many universities have adopted tenure-extension policies that give new parents greater flexibility. In practice, these policies are usually gender-neutral, giving fathers an extra year to establish their reputations, just like mothers.
Debra I. Schafer, Executive Advisor; Founder/CEO, Education Navigation, LLC
Parental leave is very much a "hot topic" for working parents and now, for companies, and there's progress being made in this area. Yet there are millions of working parents/employees whose needs are not being met so we still have a long way to go.