A University of Melbourne study about Generation X women losing hope and dropping out of the workforce is getting ink in Australian newspapers. The Daily Telegraph’s headline actually characterized the situation as “shattered hope”.
Perthnow (powered by Australia’s Sunday Times) also published the news release. Here is an excerpt:
Only 38 per cent of Generation X, tertiary qualified women worked full-time, compared to 90 per cent of Generation X, tertiary qualified men, in a University of Melbourne study.
According to the study, when Gen X women graduated from college they ranked career as a top priority. But, once they started to have children, there was little support from employers. In fact, the study reveals that Australia’s workplace policies have taken a toll on Gen X women. The health of Gen X women has actually suffered in comparison to that of Canadian women.
Workplace policies in the United States have taken a toll on the health of Gen X women. The biggest question is what aspect of health has it impacted most – physical? mental? marital? familial? emotional? It’s a toss-up.
Gen X is not fairing well as we head into middle age. Gen X marriages are starting to really suffer. Experts predict the divorce rate for Gen X will exceed divorce rates for all previous generations. This is gut-wrenching for a generation of latchkey kids who made their homes child-focused; who have responded to their own childhood neglect by overparenting their own kids.
I am so grateful for the brilliant minds at the U.S. Department of Labor who work daily to raise awareness about the benefits of flexible work arrangements for employees, EMPLOYERS and society as a whole. In addition, I believe I’ve mentioned this before, but if not, workplace flexibility is a public policy initiative of Georgetown Law.
If you are an employer and you are not pursuing workplace flexibility for your employees you are a dinosaur. Good luck staying ahead of your competition, because the most innovative employers – the ones who actually get the connection between happy employees and fantastic work products – are the ones that will retain the best talent.
Have you ever considered dropping out of the workforce?