Flexible working for parents is great. But child-free people need it, too | Caroline Bullock
The office-bound 9-5 job is an anachronism. All workers, whatever their family status, need greater control over their lives
Fresh rallying calls for greater equality and support for mothers in the workplace are made in two recent books: Heading Home: Motherhood, Work, and the Failed Promise of Equality and Making Motherhood Work: How Women Manage Careers and Caregiving.
In the latter, the sociologist Caitlyn Collins casts her net wide to explore how work and family tensions are exacerbated by both a long-hours culture and what she sees as society’s dismissive attitudes towards care-giving. Stressed, exhausted and unappreciated mothers in Italy and the US share anecdotes that contrast markedly with those of their Swedish counterparts. In Sweden, more progressive social policies mean that fathers take 90 days of paternity leave and play a bigger role in childcare, bringing the nirvana of work-life balance closer to reality. This approach, Collins argues, should be more widely embraced.