The Thread: Work-Family Policy

What kinds of policy changes would make your work-family life more manageable?

The Thread: Work-Family Policy

Last weekend former governor of Massachusetts Jane Swift wrote a thought-provoking essay for Fast Company about motherhood, career ambition–and power. Swift, who gave birth to twins while she held office, doesn’t think it will be more difficult for new Yahoo chief Marissa Mayer than for men in similar leadership roles just because she’s pregnant: “A woman with a family in a powerful position like Mayer’s doesn’t have it that much tougher than a man in a similar position precisely because she’s in that position. The job comes with significant resources will help make the day-to-day details, as well as life’s tougher challenges, well, less tough.”

This paragraph in particular, on working parenthood for the vast majority of us, caught my attention:

“Think about this data point: In 1960, just over 25% of American women worked; that number is more than 70% today. And yet U.S. work-family policies have not been dramatically updated to reflect this stunning demographic leap. So, let’s spend time talking about expanding access to proven levers of economic success for these families: paid maternity leave, flexible employment opportunities up and down the economic ladder, more emphasis on critical education and career readiness, meaningful on and off ramps for parents who slow their careers to meet family obligations.”

What kinds of policy changes would make your work-family life more manageable? Tell us in the comments section below:

[Image: Flickr user Thiophene_Guy]

About the author

Anjali Mullany is the editor of Fast Company Digital.