Resource: HBR Podcast

PrintI listened to this today and was really intrigued by the content – I think it’s worth the 15 minute listen or you can read the transcript:

Is Work-Family Conflict Reaching a Tipping Point?

I think it’s important to stay informed as we lead/pastor/teach in 2014 and we’re all dealing with families – especially in the church dynamic. I felt this podcast was really eye-opening and a conversation starter on multiple levels as we seek to lead and pastor families in the church.

Some of the most interesting statements/comments:

You surveyed graduating college seniors in 1992 in 2012. And in the class of 1992 78% said that they did plan to have children. But by 2012 only 42% said they planned to have children.

another thing that we observed was the change in how many hours people expect to work. So in 1992 the anticipated hours per week was 58. In 2012 it was 72.

So for one thing young men today expect, much more than their predecessors, to have a spouse who is fully engaged in her career.

In addition young men today are more likely to want to be engaged on the domestic front as fathers and as partners, to be more psychologically and physically involved in family life. And so the conflict between their work and potential family roles is much greater as a result. And that’s one of the things that we saw that helps us explain why fewer men are planning to have kids. Because they don’t see how they can do it.

Having seen their parents generation. Which went from 15% of mothers in 1992 being full-time employed to 50% of the class of 2012. They see what’s required. And many, especially women, are saying to themselves, well if I’m going to have kids then one of us should be at home. And it’s probably going to be me. So again, there’s another tension.

And again for women in our sample the more you identified as agnostic or atheist the less likely you were to plan to have kids of your own. So we infer from that the norms associated with traditional religions about the role of women society, they’re having less of an impact in terms of how women are thinking about their future.

So that men today, compared to their predecessors 20 years ago, are more egalitarian in their perspective. They’re much more likely to support a 50/50 model of shared responsibility, of shared care at home and shared commitment, equal commitment to work. The interesting thing though is that women are less so. So their belief in the necessity of a 50/50 world has actually gone down. So as a result you see men becoming more egalitarian women less so.

For people to have work schedules and workplaces that enable them to do the things that matter to them in the different parts of their lives. And the companies that are ahead of the curve on progressive, flexible, work policies are going to be attracting the best and brightest.

There’s been a number of important stories coming out over the last few months about trying to rein in the beast of overwork. And to give people opportunities to have more lives beyond work. And whatever can be done to fight what remains is the stigma flexibility. Men and women taking time. And still in many of our companies they’re seen as not committed. And it’s just foolhardy to be measuring people on face-time.