According to a recent survey by the Pew Research Center, the majority of full-time working moms as well as stay-at-home moms would like to trade in their current job status for a part-time position. Jean talks with Ellen Galinsky, president and co-founder of the Families and Work Institute, about the survey and the growing trend toward flexible work schedules for moms and dads.
Women who want to work a part-time job may find less resistance from the job market than a decade ago, Ellen says. "I think that companies are increasingly realizing that the talent in the labor force among women is not to be dismissed lightly," she says.
Today, it's not just women who are interested in flexible work hours—Ellen says men are also seeking alternative work arrangements. "This generation of parents is more family-centric than baby boomers were," she says. "They are used to the kind of schedule that they may have had in college—particularly with flexibility where you work sometimes then you might come home and have dinner with your kids and then you work again."
The longtime debate over working moms and the upbringing of children is still hot, but Ellen says there is no evidence that shows children of full-time, part-time or stay-at-home moms turn out any different. "The kind of parent you are makes the biggest difference, not simply whether you are employed or whether you are not," she says.
Ellen also says being stressed out from working long hours can affect your parenting, and in the end part-time or flextime jobs make sense for many parents. "We need to rethink simply the hours that we work—not like running a marathon, where you never stop, but more like weight lifting, where you take time for rest and recovery," she says.
Published on August 15, 2007