Every researcher in the work-life field owes a huge intellectual debt to one of our pioneers, Lotte Bailyn. In this interview, she discusses her 40-year career of groundbreaking research of redesigning work to accommodate the real lives of working families.
“The article doesn’t describe the Amazon I know or the caring Amazonians I work with every day,” Bezos wrote in a memo to his employees after the New York Times published a scathing article about the company's culture. “But if you know of any stories like those reported, I want you to escalate to HR. You can also email me directly. . .even if it’s rare or isolated, our tolerance for any such lack of empathy needs to be zero.”
"Top-tier employers may be changing their official policies in a nod to work-life balance, but brutal competition remains an inescapable component of workers' daily lives. . . .As Professor Frank, who has written a book about the phenomenon known as winner-take-all economics, explains, the basic problem is that the rewards for ascending to top jobs at companies like Netflix and Goldman Sachs are not just enormous, they are also substantially greater than at companies in the next tier down.
“The joke in the office was that when it came to work/life balance, work came first, life came second, and trying to find the balance came last,” said one former Amazon employee - and "When you’re not able to give your absolute all, 80 hours a week, they see it as a major weakness,” said another, both of whom are quoted in the recent New York Times article on the "brusing but thrilling" workplace culture at Amazon.
"A good workplace is one in which you can look around and see versions of yourself five years from now, or ten. But for women, this exercise in mirroring gets harder and harder as they push toward 40, and 50, and beyond -- for the simple reason that older women with ambition don't stick around. They dial back, drop out, start their own thing."