Sunday, May 17, 2015

New Harvard research: Children benefit from having a working mum

Here’s some heartening news for working mothers worried about the future of their children.

Women whose mothers worked outside the home are more likely to have jobs themselves, are more likely to hold supervisory responsibility at those jobs, and earn higher wages than women whose mothers stayed home full time, according to a new study. Men raised by working mothers are more likely to contribute to household chores and spend more time caring for family members.

The findings are stark, and they hold true across 24 countries.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Part-time power: Can you be part-time at the top?

It's a familiar stereotype. The part-time worker (usually a woman) who has compromised on career and salary to bring up children.

Not for her the world of her full-time counterpart (usually a man) in a high-powered job, with not enough hours in the day, let alone days in the week, to respond to the e-mails, phone calls and meeting requests coming at him from all corners of the globe.

But a decade and a half into the 21st Century there are signs of a work pattern emerging that fits neither stereotype. And it isn't only for the benefit of frustrated working mothers.

It's being forged by men and women who, for whatever reason - whether it's children, elderly parents, or the pursuit of that elusive thing called work-life balance, don't want to work full-time, but are determined to do more than just "keep their hand in".

"I still feel ambitious. I want to have influence. There's an assumption that when you ask for part-time work, all those other things that made you professionally have gone out of the window, and that's just not true," says Karen Mattison, the co-founder of Timewise, which promotes flexible working.

"You're the same person inside, that's why the stigma around part-time work matters, it's the lens you might be looked at through."