A report released today by the Families and Work Institute — “Times Are Changing: Gender and Generation at Work and at Home” — shows significant and surprising changes among men and women at work and at home. Here’s from the news release highlighting the study results:

For the first time, young women want just as much to advance to jobs with more responsibility as young men. Moreover, being a mother does not significantly change young women’s career ambitions.

 This change in attitudes reflects women’s changing roles in the workplace. The share of dual-earner family income contributed by women has risen to 44% and 26% of women now earn 10% or more than their husbands. At the same time, men have increased the amount of time they spend with young children and are experiencing more work-family conflict than women.  These are among the findings of 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.  

And the Families and Work Institute study is featured in a USA Today article this morning written by Sharon Jayson, “Gender roles see a conflict in work-life balance.” Here’s from the USA Today article:

Women in two-earner couples are contributing more to family income, but it’s the men who are feeling more conflicted over the work-life balance, according to a survey of 3,500 workers released today.

Asked how much jobs and family life interfere with each other, 59% of fathers in dual-income families reported conflict in 2008, while just 35% did in 1977. For mothers, reported conflict increased from 40% to 45%.

Findings from the telephone survey for the nonprofit Families and Work Institute suggest what some experts say is a “tipping point” in attitudes about gender roles, work and family.

“It does signal more equality of expectations — that men are no longer let off the hook,” says Scott Coltrane, a sociologist at the University of Oregon.

Up until the past decade, “men weren’t doing enough to add stress to their lives,” he says.

“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 proper gender roles.”

Ellen is a member of the Corporate Voices for Working Families Board of Trustees.

Our Corporate Voices for Working Families website contains additional research reports and other information relating to workplace flexibility and work-life balance.