Man Up: Gender & the Work-Life Balance Debate
The last year has seen a flurry of conversation about women, work, and success. Missing from much of this? The other 50% of the population.
Research shows that Millennial men feel more conflicted than women about work-family balance, are more likely to ask for flex time, and increasingly say they want their marriages to be equal partnerships. Many are also opting out of corporate America, launching their own ventures on their own terms.
On the other hand, younger men may be less likely to see sexism as a lingering problem, since so many of them grew up with female classmates who often outperformed or -- in college -- outnumbered them. Men still often expect that their own careers will take precedence, and they're behind the rise of a start-up culture that prioritizes family-unfriendly policies like all-night hackathons and 90-hour weeks.
So are Millennial men going to help revolutionize the way we work? Or will they perpetuate the workplace norms we’ve toiled under for decades?
Dir of Strategy
James Allworth is the Director of Strategy for Medallia, Inc, and is co-author of the New York Times best-selling book, “How Will You Measure Your Life?”. He has served as a Fellow at the Forum for Growth and Innovation, Professor Clayton Christensen’s think tank at the Harvard Business School. Prior to this, he worked at Apple, Inc; and at Booz & Co. He graduated from the Australian National University with First Class Honors, and from Harvard Business School as a Baker Scholar for results in the top 5% of his class. He writes regularly for the Harvard Business Review on the topics on innovation, technology, and disruption.
Distinguished Professor of Law, UC Hastings Foundation Chair & Dir of the Center for WorkLife Law
UC Hastings College of the Law
Joan C. Williams has played a central role in reshaping the debates over women’s advancement for the past quarter-century. Described as having "something approaching rock star status” by The New York Times, Williams was awarded the American Bar Foundation's Outstanding Scholar Award (2012), the Elizabeth Hurlock Beckman Award (2012), the ABA’s Margaret Brent Award for Women Lawyers of Achievement (2006), and the Gustavus Myers Outstanding Book Award for Unbending Gender: Why Family and Work Conflict and What to Do About It (Oxford University Press, 2000). In recognition of her interdisciplinary work, Williams gave the 2008 Massey Lectures in American Civilization at Harvard University, delivered in prior years by (among others) Eudora Welty, Gore Vidal and Toni Morrison.
Williams, who is Distinguished Professor of Law and Hastings Foundation Chair at University of California, Hastings College of the Law, has authored or co-authored seven books. She has written over seventy law review articles, including one listed in 1996 as one of the most cited law review articles ever written. Her work has been excerpted in casebooks on six different topics.
As Founding Director of WorkLife Law (WLL), Williams has played a leading role in documenting workplace bias against mothers, leading to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s 2007 Guidance on Caregiver Discrimination. Her article “Beyond the Maternal Wall: Relief for Family Caregivers Who Are Discriminated Against on the Job,” 26 Harvard Women’s Law Review 77 (2003)(co-authored with Nancy Segal), was prominently cited in the landmark case, Back v. Hastings on Hudson Union Free School District, 365 F.3d 107 (2d Cir. 2004). Williams has organized social scientists to document workplace bias against mothers, notably in a 2004 special issue of the Journal of Social Issues titled “The Maternal Wall” (co-edited with Monica Biernat and Faye Crosby), which received the Distinguished Publication Award of the Association for Women in Psychology.
Williams also has played a central role in documenting how work-family conflict affects working-class families, through reports such as “One Sick Child Away From Being Fired” (2006), “Three Faces of Work-Family Conflict” (2010) (co-authored by Heather Boushey of the Center for American Progress), and “Improving Work-Life Fit in Hourly Jobs” (2011). Williams’ current research focuses on how work-family conflict differs at different class locations; on the "culture wars" as class conflict; on how gender bias differs by race; and on the role of gender pressures on men in creating work-family conflict and gender inequality. Her new book, co-written with daughter Rachel Dempsey, draws on thirty-five years of social science research and over 120 interviews of working women to create tools for working women to navigate gender bias. The book, entitled What Works for Women at Work; Four Patterns Working Women Need to Know, will be on shelves in early 2014. You can also follow Williams’ work on her Huffington Post blog.
Sr Assoc Editor
Harvard Business Review
Sarah Green is a senior associate editor at Harvard Business Review, where she runs the video program and writes and edits for the web, the magazine, and HBR Press books. She also hosts the HBR IdeaCast, which has twice been nominated for a National Magazine Award. Previously, she was a baseball columnist for the Boston Metro and a researcher for Pulitzer-winning columnist Ellen Goodman of the Boston Globe. She graduated from Brown University.
Dir, Wharton Work/Life Integration Project
The Wharton School
Stew Friedman has been on the Wharton faculty since 1984. He became the Management Department’s first Practice Professor for his work on applying theory and research to the real challenges facing organizations. As founding director of the Wharton Leadership Program, in 1991 he initiated the required MBA and Undergraduate leadership courses. He is also founding director of Wharton’s Work/Life Integration Project.
Stew’s most recent book is Baby Bust: New Choices for Men and Women in Work and Family ( Wharton Digital Press, October, 2013). Prior to that was his award-winning bestseller, Total Leadership: Be a Better Leader, Have a Richer Life (Harvard Business Press, 2008). The program it describes is his challenging Wharton course, in which participants complete an intensive series of real-world exercises designed to increase their leadership capacity and performance in all parts of their lives by better integrating them, while working in high-involvement peer-to-peer coaching relationships and completing much of the activity online in a cutting-edge social learning environment. Total Leadership is used by individuals and companies worldwide, including as a primary intervention in a multi-year study, funded by the National Institutes of Health, on improving the careers and lives of women in medicine.
In 2001 Stew concluded a two-year assignment as a senior executive at Ford Motor Company, where he was director of the Leadership Development Center (LDC), running a 50-person, $25 MM operation. In partnership with the CEO, he launched a corporate-wide portfolio of initiatives designed to transform Ford's culture; 2500+ managers per year participated. Near the end of his tenure at Ford, an independent research group (ICEDR) said the LDC was a "global benchmark" for leadership development programs.
Stew worked for five years in the mental health field before earning his PhD in organizational psychology from the University of Michigan. He has published on work/life, leadership, and the dynamics of change, including the widely-cited Harvard Business Review articles, “Work and life: the end of the zero-sum game” (1998) and “Be a better leader, have a richer life” (2008), and “The Happy Workaholic: a role model for employees” (Academy of Management Executive, 2003). Work and Family – Allies or Enemies? (Oxford, 2000) was recognized by the Wall Street Journal as one of the field's best books. In the book Integrating Work and Life: The Wharton Resource Guide (Jossey-Bass, 1998) Stew edited the first collection of learning tools for building leadership skills for integrating work and life.
Stew serves on a number of boards and has advised a wide range of companies and public sector organizations, including the U.S. Department of Labor, the United Nations, and two White House administrations. He gives keynote addresses and conducts workshops globally on leadership and the whole person, creating change, and strategic human resources issues. (Here is the 2013 master class he gave for Wharton's Lifelong Learning Tour in San Francisco.) The recipient of numerous teaching awards, he appears regularly in business media (The New York Times cited the “rock star adoration” he inspires in his students), was chosen by Working Mother as one of America’s 25 most influential men to have made things better for working parents, was selected by Thinkers50 as one of the “world’s top 50 business thinkers,” and in 2013 was honored by the Families and Work Institute with the Work Life Legacy Award.