As we continue to look at various issues involving working families during National Work & Family Month in October, here’s an informative and insightful post by David Gray on The Huffington Post, “National Work & Family Month — The New Emphasis on Fatherhood.”
Gray is the director of the Workforce and Family Program at the New America Foundation. Here’s from his post:
Work-life balance is a significant issue for most Americans. Polls show that more than 80% of Americans experience conflicts between their work and family lives. The impact on families is significant. Today’s parents multitask to the point that children cite “uninterrupted time with parents” as their primary need. Older workers want and, in this economy, need to keep working, but want to do so in a different way thanin the past.
Women have traditionally faced work and family balance challenges. They entered the workforce in new numbers a generation ago and felt the challenge of conflict. However, there is a shift now occurring in gender dynamics as it relates to work and family. With men losing three-quarters of the jobs in this recession, women are now driving the American economy. America can’t afford to lose any more workers (women or men) due to care giving conflicts.
Moreover, far from being just a “woman’s issue,” work and family issues are now “men’s” issues. According to the Families and Work Institute, more men (59%) than women (45%) in dual-income households report serious work and family conflicts. More men than women struggle with work family balance. That is a significant shift and one that I’m not sure most Americans would guess.