March 21st, 2013
Last month, news broke that international consulting giant McKinsey & Co. is recruiting moms back from stay-at-home status.
In a Wall Street Journal Web video, reporter Leslie Kwoh said, “From what we understand, this is really an effort for them to get back some of the talent that they lost … as women left to become mothers.”
Sadly, the hopeful-triumphant gleam in Kwoh’s eyes was all too familiar.
I say sadly, because it’s been 20 years since I’ve been reporting such hopeful developments for working mothers. I interviewed the originator of the “mommy track” idea, Felice Schwartz, back in 1993. Sadly, we are still having the same discussions. And, sadly, we’ve learned very little. More »
March 7th, 2013
The news that the Dow Jones industrial average is at record highs is perplexing, given that the companies doing so well are apparently not creating jobs – or, at any rate, not creating jobs here. The U.S. unemployment rate remains stubbornly stuck just below 8 percent, and is 7.1 percent on Long Island.
Normally, you’d think that more workers would be required to fuel companies’ growth. Instead, a lot of employers are “doing more with less” – a phrase for our time. In many jobs, technological advances allow people to produce more in the same amount of time, so fewer people are needed.
But another factor is that those fortunate enough to have jobs are working longer hours. Everyone seems to have a story about someone who’s taken over the jobs of three people, or is answering work emails from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. In Europe, the average employee works 1,625 hours annually; in the United States, it’s 1,797. More »
February 28th, 2013
I don’t know how often Republican members of the House of Representatives use quotes from President Barack Obama in their slideshows. Given the caustic partisan scene in Washington, it’s probably rare.
But on Tuesday morning, Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.), who chairs the Higher Education and Workforce Training Subcommittee, included a promise from the president’s 2012 State of the Union address as she rolled out hearings on her job-training bill.
“I want to cut through the maze of confusing training programs, so that from now on, [job seekers] have one program, one website, and one place to go for all the information and help that they need. It is time to turn our unemployment system into a reemployment system that puts people to work,” the president said on Jan. 24, 2012. More »
February 21st, 2013
On a recent morning, my eighth-grader grabbed her cellphone as she was leaving for school. In my house, this calls for an explanation. She told me in a rush: “We can use them in art class. We listen to music, and we look up images.”
With that, she was gone.
This is a big change from two years ago, when her teacher summoned me to the school to personally retrieve my daughter’s phone. He had confiscated it after she was caught with it a second time. More »