Work - Life Balance

Women [and men] today are seeking greater flexibility in their jobs to balance more effectively their work and family responsibilities. Lack of such arrangements often forces women to opt out of pursuing their career goals. When they return to work, women find themselves at a disadvantage in terms of earnings, opportunities and promotions. Employers who adopt more flexibility in the workplace allow women and men to lead more productive and effective lives.

The Economics of Workplace Flexibility (2010)

As part of the White House Forum for Workplace Flexibility, the Council of Economic Advisers released a report presenting an economic perspective on flexible workplace policies and practices.
Work-Life Balance and the Economics of Workplace Flexibility (pdf) highlights changes in American society over the past half century, including the increased number of women entering the labor force, the prevalence of families where all adults work, increasing eldercare responsibilities, and the rising importance of continuing education. These changes are among those that have increased the need for flexibility in the workplace.


Strengthening the Middle Class: Ensuring Equal Pay for Women - Heather Boushey's Testimony Before Congress

To close the gender pay gap, we must address the root causes of women’s lower wages, which includes the segregation of men and women into different kinds of jobs and the inflexibility of the workplace to women’s greater responsibilities for family care. There could not be a more important time to address the issue of gender pay equity. Women are now half of all workers on U.S. payrolls and two-thirds of mothers are bringing home at least a quarter of their family’s earnings. This means the gender pay gap is not just a woman’s issue, it is a family issue that affects the millions of young, old, and middle-aged Americans who rely on a woman breadwinner or co-breadwinner in their family.


The Three Faces of Work-Family Conflict: The Poor, the Professionals, and the Missing Middle

Work-family conflict is much higher in the United States than elsewhere in the developed world.  Not only do American families work longer hours; they do so with fewer laws to support working families. Only the United States lacks paid maternity-leave laws among the 30 industrialized democracies in the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development. The only family leave available to Americans is unpaid, limited to three months, and covers only about half the labor force. Discrimination against workers
with family responsibilities, illegal throughout Europe,11 is forbidden only indirectly here.  Americans also lack paid sick days, limits on mandatory overtime, the right to request work-time flexibility without retaliation, and proportional wages for part-time work.


Creating Opportunity for Low-Income Women in the Green Economy

If women are to gain a significant foothold in the green sector, federal funding will need to prioritize programs that both train women for these positions and help them make the challenging transition into male-dominated occupations.

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