Posts Tagged ‘ work-life balance ’

Work-Life Balance Even Affects Those without Kids, Study Finds

Monday, March 31st, 2014

Work-Life BalanceEmployers who refuse flexible scheduling for employees with kids also lose popularity with childless workers. According to a new study from Rice University and University of California, San Diego, scientists and engineers without kids have still felt the stigma associated with “flexible” schedules within their work culture. The study found workers can have a negative attitude towards their place of employment and were less interested in staying at their jobs when they felt their employers looked down on individuals that needed a more flexible schedule. More from Rice University:

Parents have reported before that trying to balance work and family obligations comes with career costs. But a new study from Rice University and the University of California, San Diego, shows that university workplace bias against scientists and engineers who use flexible work arrangements may increase employee dissatisfaction and turnover even for people who don’t have children.

“As researchers, we’re interested in understanding the gap between the traditional 9-to-5 work setting and what workers actually need,” said Erin Cech, an assistant professor of sociology at Rice and the study’s lead author. “The majority of parents are in the workforce today, yet the expectations and arrangements of work have stayed more or less the same as they were post-World War II. We’re trying to understand this mismatch and its consequences.”

The study, “Consequences of Flexibility Stigma Among Academic Scientists and Engineers,” examined “flexibility stigma” — employers’ and co-workers’ negative attitudes toward employees who seek or are presumed to need flexible work arrangements to deal with child care responsibilities — at one university. The study found that people who reported an awareness of the flexibility stigma in their departments — regardless of whether they are parents themselves — were less interested in staying at their jobs, more likely to want to leave academia for industry and less satisfied with their jobs than those who did not report a flexibility stigma in their department. They also felt as though they had worse work-life balance.

“Flexibility stigma is not just a workers’ problem,” said study co-author Mary Blair-Loy, an associate professor of sociology at UC San Diego and founding director of the Center for Research on Gender in the Professions. “Workplaces where this bias exists are more likely to have a toxic culture that hurts the entire department, not only in terms of work-life balance but also retention and job satisfaction, which may affect department productivity.”…

Thinking of quitting your job? Use our worksheet to see if you can make it on one income.

Balancing Work & Breastfeeding
Balancing Work & Breastfeeding
Balancing Work & Breastfeeding

Image: Adult business woman wearing a costume and supplied her newborn daughter in the office workplace via Shutterstock.

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Study: Working Moms Multi-Task More than Working Dads

Tuesday, December 13th, 2011

In a new study that The Boston Globe has jokingly re-titled “Tell Me About It,” researchers have found that working mothers spend an average of 10 more hours per week multitasking than working fathers.  The study, which was published in the journal American Sociological Review, found that working mothers spend an average of 48.3 hours of multitasking each week, juggling house work, food prep and shopping, and child care, whereas working fathers spend an average of 38.9 hours per week.

The Globe interviewed local working moms who said they were entirely un-shocked by the study’s results–even those who have very participatory and helpful husbands said they find themselves juggling more than their partners:

Karin Sloan, 36, a pulmonary and critical-care physician at Boston Medical Center, and the mother of two young children, also has a husband who is “very helpful,’’ but like the fathers in the study, her husband does one thing at a time, she said. “He’ll make dinner, and while he’s doing that he’s listening to his NPR on the radio. It’s his time to relax.’’

When she’s on dinner duty, Sloan said, she’s also doing laundry, dealing with work e-mails, chatting briefly with friends in an attempt to keep her personal life going, and generally sweating the details. “I’m in charge of the family schedule, which includes keeping the kids clothed and bathed, shopping for food, keeping track of the school schedule, keeping track of the nanny’s schedule, making sure it’s clear what days we may be home late. My husband doesn’t really plan ahead.’’

Image: Busy working mom, via Shutterstock.


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Study: Working, Stay-at-Home Moms Equally Stressed

Tuesday, July 12th, 2011

frazzled-momA new study by ForbesWoman and has found that mothers who work outside the home feel significantly stressed and overwhelmed…but so do women who stay at home with their children.  The Today show reported on the study, which surveyed 1,200 women:

From rushing to the train, slammed by deadlines to racing through the house, slathered in spit-up, moms can’t check out at 5 p.m. Stay-at-home and work-outside-the-home moms alike are still on the clock when hubby removes his tie and drops his briefcase at the door. According to the survey, 92% of working moms and 89% of stay-at-home moms feel overwhelmed by work, home and parenting duties. A full 84% of stay-at-home moms don’t get a break when their partner returns from work, and 50% say they never get a break from parenting. (But 96% say their partner manages to snag time-outs.)

Both groups (70% of working moms and 68% of stay-at-home moms) feel resentment due to the unbalanced responsibilities and a third of all moms say they feel their partner could step it up on the domestic front.

Almost 40 percent of both working and stay-at-home mothers said they felt like “married single moms,” even though they are raising their baby together with a partner, reported.

Do these findings surprise you?

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Justice Department Sues Mortgage Company for Discriminating Against Women on Maternity Leave

Wednesday, July 6th, 2011

The Mortgage Guaranty Insurance Corporation (MGIC), the nation’s largest mortgage insurance company, is facing a Justice Department law suit because of the company’s requirement that women return from paid maternity leave before mortgages will be approved and insured.  The case refers to loan customers who are seeking to borrow more than 80 percent of their home’s value, a situation in which most mortgage lenders require mortgage insurance.

The suit was filed in Pennsylvania on July 5.  It falls under the Fair Housing Act, which prohibits discrimination in housing and mortgage lending based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex, disability and familial status.

“No woman should be denied the opportunity to receive a mortgage loan simply because she has just given birth,” said Thomas E. Perez, Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division in a statement.. “Our nation’s fair housing laws prohibit this kind of discrimination, and the Justice Department is committed to aggressive enforcement of those laws.”

“It defies belief that, in 2011, any institution would discriminate against a mother for legally and properly taking leave after the birth of a child,” said U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania David Hickton.  “My office will not stand idly by while parents suffer discrimination in lending simply for taking maternity or paternity leave.”

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Breastfeeding DC Cop Must Take Leave Without Pay

Tuesday, July 5th, 2011

A Washington DC police officer, just back from maternity leave after having her second child, has been forced to take additional unpaid leave because she cannot wear the bullet-proof vest she’d need to perform street patrol duties.  Officer Sashay Brown had requested a desk-based assignment while she was breastfeeding because the vest was very painful and, she said, could clog her milk ducts and affect her milk supply.

The Washington Examiner reports:

Officer Sashay Brown returned to work in May after having her second child. At first, she worked a desk job. Soon after, though, she was forced to patrol the city streets under a new department policy that was meant to force officers who had made dubious claims of health issues back to the street….

[Medical services branch director William] Sarvis said that until department doctors determine Brown is fit for full duty, she’d either have to take sick leave, or unpaid leave if she didn’t have sick days left.

“I’m just coming back from having a baby,” Brown told The Washington Examiner. “I don’t have any sick leave left.”

She and her husband are now a one-income family. Brown plans to breastfeed through her child’s first year.

“That’s a long time to be without pay,” she said. “I’m applying for short-term disability, and am hoping they allow this to be a medical condition.”

The DC police force has recently suffered high attrition rates, losing around 15 officers each month.

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