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Women In The Workforce:
Families and Work Institute Weighs In
The gradual increase of women in the labor force over the past half century, combined with various work life trends and economic pressures, has resulted in a shrinking gap between how men and women view their careers, family roles, and the fit between their lives on and off the job.(1) From the desire to take on greater responsibility at work, to how men and women share responsibilities at home, the differences between the genders are in many cases narrowing according to a newly released report entitled "Times Are Changing: Gender and Generation at Work and At Home," which examines the evolution of work-related gender roles over the past three decades.
The report was produced by the Families and Work Institute (www.familiesandwork.org) and funded by IBM. It is the first report issued based on data from FWI's 2008 National Study of the Changing Workforce (NSCW), the only study of its kind to provide 30+ year comparisons (from 1977 to 2008), of life on and off the job.(2) The report is also supplemented by other public data to provide as broad and current a picture as possible.
"Our findings are striking and surprising," said Ellen Galinsky, president and co-founder of Families and Work Institute and lead author of the study. "There are many firsts in this study -- the first time that younger men and women feel the same about job advancement and the first time that there is no statistically significant difference between men and women in their views of appropriate gender roles."
"The results of this study highlight the need to understand what motivates different generations and ensure your programs meet their needs," according to Ron Glover, Vice President, Diversity & Workforce Programs, IBM. "IBM has conducted Work/Life Surveys since 1986 and we have seen a steady increase in work/life challenges for men. Work/Life difficulty is no longer a women's issue -- it's a people issue."
(1) Please visit http://familiesandwork.org for notes from the study.
(2) Please visit http://familiesandwork.org for notes from the study.
Some of the very notable trends identified in the report include:
Data collection for the 2008 National Study of the Changing Workforce was funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and the new report on "Gender and Generation at Work and At Home" is downloadable free of charge at www.FamiliesandWork.org.
About Families and Work Institute
Families and Work Institute (FWI) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan premier research organization that studies the changing workforce and workplace, the changing family and the changing community. As a preeminent think-tank, FWI is known for being ahead of the curve, identifying emerging issues, and then conducting rigorous research that often challenges common wisdom, provides new insight and knowledge, and motivates and leads to action. Since the Institute was founded in 1989, its work has focused in three major areas: the workforce/workplace, youth and early childhood. For more information, visit www.familiesandwork.org
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