As we continue to look at various work and life issues, here’s an interesting perspective from Pat Earley, research assistant with the Twiga Foundation. Pat’s article on The Huffington Post is titled “21st Century Workforce: The Times They Are a Changing.”
Here’s an excerpt:
According to a recent report released by Maria Shriver entitled, “The Shriver Report: A Women’s Nation Changes Everything,” there has been a dramatic shift in our nation’s workforce and women make up a greater part of our current workforce and economy than ever before. Today, women account for approximately 50% of our nation’s workforce compared to only 1/3 of the workforce in 1967 (a generation ago). Women are graduating from college today at a higher rate than men. At the same time, 60% of these women have children under the age of 3 and four-in-five families with children still at home do not fit the traditional male as breadwinner, female as homemaker description.
The Shriver Report presents a framework for discussion on ways our society can better support working families and how policymakers, political leaders and employers can begin to address the impact and implications of these workforce changes. By taking a look at their assumptions and out-dated work practices, institutional leaders can begin to evaluate and create new work policies and arrangements that better address the needs of 21st Century families. According to this report, in today’s families 23% of our children live with a single mother; in today’s families 39% of all births are to unmarried mothers; in today’s families 60% of women with children under the age of 3 are in the labor force; and, between 1977 and 2007, the number of employed men age 65 and older rose to over 75% while the employment of women age 65 and older climbed to almost double that figure — 147%. Obviously, dramatic changes have occurred.
Publications, research studies and toolkits on a host of other workforce readiness, flexibility, family economic stability, and work and family balance issues are also available on the Corporate Voices Web site.