Thursday, September 07, 2006

A New Mommy Track? (And What About Us?)

A couple of days ago, frequent tipster Keith blogged about a story in the LA Time suggesting that employers are getting more flexible when it comes to moms re-entering the workforce. Obviously, this sort of conflicts with the tone of my last post, which suggested that such accommodations remain absent. Clearly, there is more room for flexibility now -- I have, in the past, been able to make demands about when and where I worked -- but is it really widespread enough to be a trend? And an employer-driven on at that?

Of course, if true, there remains one huge downside. All of this flexibility is a mom thing:
Although fathers are also generally eligible for the same leave programs or reduced schedules, relatively few take advantage of them, fearing they will be viewed as career lightweights, managers say.
I know that's probably an accurate statement, but I'd love to see it get less accurate over time. When I took paternity leave with my first kid, I became the conductor on some sort of weird underground-paternity railroad. Guys I'd never spoken to from far-away offices would suddenly be calling me, wanting to know how I "pulled it off." There is a pent-up demand for this sort of thing, even among dads. They just need encouragement that they can jump in -- the water is fine.

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