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Archive for the ‘work-Life Balance’ Category

CNN Money posted “How High-Achieving Women Balance Work and Family” this past Monday. The article features perspectives on work-life balance in high-achievement positions from Sheryl Sandberg (COO, Facebook), Carol Bartz (CEO, Yahoo), and Jean Jackson (Direct-to-Consumer President, Nike).

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“Domestic Violence: Your Coworker’s Dark Secret” is a Fortune online article that blew my mind.  First, I was surprised to see that someone in the established media was willing to take on the subject; Second, it’s a well-written, well-researched, and heart-rending article that captivated my attention.  From the article:

Now a small but growing group of CEOs is saying that it’s time for corporate America to confront the issue head-on. Domestic violence affects the bottom line, they say. It threatens workplace safety. As an HR issue, it’s much more volatile and potentially dangerous than drug addiction or alcoholism.

“I’d like to see more done about this,” says Thomas J. Wilson, CEO of Allstate, one of the CEOs who sees it as a major issue affecting employees, customers, or both. At Verizon Wireless, which handled about 100 abuse cases internally in the past year and roughly 225 more through its employee-assistance programs, “the numbers speak for themselves,” says Martha Delehanty, vice president of human resources. “This is an issue we must address.”

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In a study of three large companies spanning 39 states, 10% of workers who responded to survey questions said, “Right now I am going through this,” says Anne O’Leary-Kelly, a management professor who conducted the study.

The article gives stark portrayals of the women who have faced spousal abuse, and seen it spill over into their work lives.  More heartening, however, are the workplaces that have taken the initiative and responded to this blatant disrespect for human lives with an outpouring of support for the abused.

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I’ve been able to catch up on my blogs today, and wanted to put together some interesting, if topically disparate, posts that I came across:

Web 2.0 applications are coming, going, and denting companies’ reputations. See “Losing Face,” about how British Airways and Virgin Atlantic were dinged by their employee’s posts on Facebook, and then read about how blogging is going (has gone) mainstream in “Oh, Grow Up” from the Economist.

Businessweek‘s Management IQ blog has a post titled “The Gender Pay Gap: Still Alive at the Top, Too” where they quote a recent report saying that women execs make 85% of their male counterparts.

Research from Cornell about the 40-hour workweek was recently released: “Forty Hours Doesn’t Work for Everyone: Examining Employee Preferences for Work Hours”. From the summary:

Current economic conditions have caused many employers to reduce employees’ work hours—a trend that will likely continue if the economy worsens. Yet research on work hours is limited, as most studies in this area have focused on the effects of employees’ working in excess of a 40-hour work week. This report seeks to specifically examine the effect of “hours mismatch,” which is defined as the mismatch between the number of hours the employee desires to work and the actual number of hours worked. Based on a study of 1,032 individuals, the results show that hours mismatch is an important predictor of attitudinal outcomes, including life satisfaction, work-family conflict, job stress, and intent to turn over.

In other news, we have a new president! Merchandise, sporting Obama’s portrait, has been big business, but apparently a nanoscale portrait of our 44th president has been created as well. If you want to learn more about what’s going on during the presidential transition, then go to change.gov, the first-ever American presidential transition website. If you’d like a little sordid history about the 2008 Presidential Campaign, head over to Newsweek, where they’re doing a seven-part series on “Secrets of the 2008 Campaign”. Read all about how both McCain and Obama’s computer networks were hacked, and what you get for a $150,000 shopping spree.

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Working Mother released its list of the 100 Best Companies for–what else?–working mothers.  The editors looked at seven areas:

workforce profile, compensation, child care, flexibility, time off and leaves, family-friendly programs and company culture.

For this year’s 100 Best, we gave particular weight to family-friendly programs, flexibility, leave policies and benefits for part-timers.

Accompanying the list is a set of great articles:  “Weathering the Storm,” about how companies are working to retain family-friendly benefits; “Stop the Clock,” on part-time working moms; and “Good for the Gander,” an article about fathers taking advantage of paternity leave.

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Lisa Belkin’s article “Palin Talk”, found in this Sunday’s New York Times Magazine, caught my eye today.  In it she examines reactions to Sarah Palin’s take on work-life balance, and how the candidate’s decision to take on a larger political role while balancing family concerns has us all investigating our own take on the balance in our lives.  Lisa Belkin also has a blog, Motherlode, where she discusses work-life balance issues in addition to other concerns as a working mother.

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A research piece coming out of the University of California, Berkeley Haas School of Business finds that women MBAs are more likely to opt out of the workforce when becoming mothers, as opposed to other degree holders.  The study, by Jane Leber Herr and Catherine Wolframz, followed 1,000 Harvard undergrad alumni and found that over a 15 year period women MBA students were the most likely to withdraw from the workforce to be stay-at-home mothers.  See the news release here, and read the full preliminary paper here.

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