For four decades, American women have entered the paid workforce–on men’s terms, not their own–yet we have done precious little as a society to restructure the workplace or family life. The consequence of this “stalled revolution,” a term coined by sociologist Arlie Hochschild, is a profound “care deficit.” A broken healthcare system, which has left 47 million Americans without health coverage, means this care crisis is often a matter of life and death. Today the care crisis has replaced the feminine mystique as women’s “problem that has no name.” It is the elephant in the room–at home, at work and in national politics–gigantic but ignored.
Values Begin at Home, but Who’s Home?
In the struggle to balance work and family, work is winning.
By Heather Boushey
The Architecture of Work and Family
To have a job and a life, we need to redesign the national household.
By Ellen Bravo
What Do Women and Men Want?
Many of the same things — but our system contributes to gender conflicts over work, parenting, and marriage.
By Kathleen Gerson
The Opt-Out Revolution Revisited
Women aren’t foresaking careers for domestic life. The ground rules just make it impossible to have both.
By Joan C. Williams
The business case for employment that values fairness and families
By Jodie Levin-Epstein
Setting a Low Bar
By Ann Friedman
How Europe supports working parents and their children.
By Janet C. Gornick
What About Fathers?
Marriage, work, and family in men’s lives.
By Scott Coltrane
The Mother of All Issues
What it will take to put work and family on the national agenda.
By Tamara Draut
Related Web-Only Content
Fighting Apart for Time Together
Why is all the activism for work/life balance split along gender lines? By Courtney E. Martin
Too many magazines and organizations set a low bar for honoring “family-friendly” companies. By Ann Friedman
A shorter version of this piece appeared in the print edition of the Mother Load special report.
What a Load
In the discussion about achieving work/life balance, men are getting a free pass. By Linda Hirshman
A TAP Exchange on the role of fathers in achieving work/family balance. By Kathleen Gerson, Courtney E. Martin, Brian Reid, and Linda Hirshman
Pleading Their Case
Can “Family Responsibilities Discrimination” lawsuits change the workplace? By Jeanine Plant
Data from the National Longitudinal Survey are used to estimate the number and characteristics of women 45 to 56 years old who care for both their children and their parents; these women transfer a significant amount of money to their children and time to their parents.
Source: Sarah Stewart Holland, Berkeley Journal of Employment and Labor Law, 2006, Volume 27, no. 2
… Pregnancy, childbirth, and bonding with a newborn are part of a continuous experience and should be treated as such under the Family and Medical Leave Act and complementary state leave laws. … As the Gerety decision shows, however, pregnant employees facing gaps in coverage have not always been successful when alleging disparate impact under anti-discrimination statutes. … The FMLA does not automatically cover a pregnant employee, like Gerety, who wants to use medical leave for illness related to gestation before childbirth. … While some employees, like Gerety, may be able to meet this higher standard because of the high-risk nature of their pregnancies, a pregnant employee attempting to receive medical leave for normal pregnancy-related illness would face a much stricter standard than a pregnant employee attempting to receive medical or parental leave for childbirth. … Specifically, Gerety would have exhausted her pregnancy-related illness leave two months before the birth of her twins, and she would have faced a larger gap without coverage then she actually faced under Hilton’s leave policy and the FMLA. … Second, courts continually refuse to see pregnancy as a medical condition unique to women and, therefore, that any leave policy affecting only pregnant women should be seen as per se discrimination as stated in the PDA. …