mead cohen berger shevtsova garfinkle michta grygiel blankenhorn
Bring Your Baby to Work (Every) Day

Anne-Marie Slaughter’s much lauded article, “Why Women Still Can’t Have It All”, concludes with an exhortation to women: “We have to stop accepting male behavior and male choices as the default and the ideal. We must insist on changing social policies and bending career tracks to accommodate our choices, too.” Indeed many firms are already promoting policies to open up more options for their employees.

We’ve already explored how telework makes life easier for working mothers and fathers. Offices are changing in other helpful ways as well. According to The Atlantic, some companies are even encouraging their employees to bring their babies to work:

According to Carla Moquin, founder and CEO of Babies in Business Solutions, 185 organizations have permitted more than 2,100 babies to come to work with parents across 43 states in the U.S.

Jody Greenstone Miller argues in the WSJ for the expansion of part-time work. One role that calls for 60 hours of work per week can be divided into two, in pay and in time:

Break away from the arbitrary notion that high-level work can be done only by people who work 10 or more hours a day, five or more days a week, 12 months a year. Why not just three days a week, or six hours a day, or 10 months a year?

It sounds simple, but the only thing that matters is quantifying the work that needs to get done and having the right set of resources in place to do it.

These are just two ways the workplace of the 21st century could be different from the conventional nine-to-five model of old. The miracle of the modern workplace, as it begins to integrate telework and other innovations, is that it will make women’s (and men’s) choices a little less hard-edged and a little less bleak. These harsh tradeoffs will never be completely smoothed away, but parents will have more flexibility to choose the balance of work-family life that suits them.

[Image courtesy of]

Features Icon
© The American Interest LLC 2005-2016 About Us Masthead Submissions Advertise Customer Service