Politics and Work Family Policies in the United States: Stalemate, Gender, Race and Class

Ariane Hegewisch Institute for Women¿¿¿s Policy Research

5th Dec 2012 12:30pm-2:00pm Meeting Room 11, The Darlington Centre

The United States is unique among high income countries in having high female labour force participation, comparatively low rates of part-time working, high birth rates and hardly any work family supports. While policies such as paid parental leave, increased spending on childcare or rights to paid sick pay or to request flexible working - all lacking for American families- do well in the polls, they have failed to make it into legal mandates. This session will provide some background on work & life in the USA and will explore the political and social dynamics which keep work family reconciliation a private responsibility.

Ariane Hegewisch

Ariane is a Study Director, with responsibility for issues of workplace discrimination and work-life reconciliation, at the Institute for Women's Policy Research, the premier U.S. Think Tank concerned with women's economic and social equality, based in Washington, D.C. She is also an associated scholar of the Center for WorkLife Law at the University of California Hastings School of Law. She is a specialist in comparative human resource management, with a particular focus on working time, work life balance and labor market flexibility. Prior to coming to the United States in 2001, she taught at Cranfield University School of Management in the UK, where she was a founding researcher of the Cranet Survey on International Strategic Human Resource Management, the largest independent employer based survey of HRM policies and practices globally. Before joining Cranfield in 1989 she worked for six years as a policy advisor on gender, employment and industrial policy in local government in London. After growing up in Germany, she received a BSc Economics from the London School of Economics in 1981, followed by an M Phil Development Studies from the Institute of Development Studies in Sussex.

Her publications include Working Time for Working Families: Europe and the United States, Friedrich Ebert Foundation: Washington; Women, Work and Inequality: The Challenge of Equal Pay in a Deregulated Labour Market (with Jeanne Gregory and Rosemary Sales); Policy and Practice in European Human Resource Management: The Price Waterhouse Cranfield Survey (with Chris Brewster) and numerous articles and book chapters. Her research and consultancy clients include the ILO, the European Commission, the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions, the UK Equalities and Human Rights Commission, Public Services International and the World Bank.