Summary of Mothers Unite!

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Women begin their careers on par with men, but often drop out of the workforce to raise children. If and when they return, says Rutgers professor of public policy Jocelyn Elise Crowley, they re-enter at much lower pay levels and must cope with employers’ often-unrealistic expectations about their full-time availability. There is a better alternative: “workplace flexibility,” which offers women options for handling their responsibilities at work and at home. In return for this change in policy, employers get energized, loyal, committed workers. It’s a win-win. The question is, will mothers unite for workplace flexibility? Crowley surveyed the members of five mothers’ organizations about their interest in flexible work options as a matter of public policy and the potential that they might unite to organize a “mothers’ movement.” Most members believe workplace flexibility is the pivot point for solving many job-related problems and for bringing peace at last to the mythical “Mommy Wars” that pit stay-at-home moms against working moms. Though it’s somewhat academic, getAbstract recommends this analysis to advocates, employers and interested parents who are juggling work and kids.

About the Author

Jocelyn Elise Crowley is a lecturer of public policy at Rutgers University and is the author of Defiant Dads: Fathers’ Rights Activists in America and The Politics of Child Support in America.



How Women Get Off Their Career Paths

A 1988 Harvard Law School graduate named Michelle began her career at the Chicago law firm where she met her future husband, Barrack Obama. Her successful career trajectory ended when he launched his first campaign for the US presidency. Michelle quit her job at the University of Chicago and moved into the White House. Michelle Obama had to wrestle with many of the decisions other modern American women face: When is the best time to have children? How much time should she take off? Could she stay at home with the kids and, if not, who would look after them? What is right for her family? Depicting these decisions as a binary choice – to work or to stay home – is a staple of the so-called “Mommy Wars,” which mythically oversimplify the issues between working and stay-at-home moms and often label a woman as a “bad mother” when she veers off the beaten path.

What Is “Workplace Flexibility”?

Workplace flexibility offers solutions that give working parents a variety of ways to set up their schedules. This flexibility falls into three subsets:

  1. “Flexible work arrangements” – These might include...

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