A quarter century after its emergence and a decade after the business case was established, the work-life field is challenged to understand the barriers that persist in preventing both employees (especially men) from fully utilizing work-life options, and managers (often men) from fully supporting them. WFD Consulting and WorldatWork’s Alliance for Work-Life Progress partnered to investigate these challenges on a global scale. GlaxoSmithKline and Workplace Options were signature sponsors of the investigation, with additional funding provided by Bright Horizons Family Solutions, Ceridian, Dell, IBM and WorldatWork.
This report summarizes data collected in six countries in late fall 2010. The findings were presented and discussed at a retreat hosted by WorldatWork’s Alliance for Work-Life Progress in New Orleans in February 2011, which brought together an invited group of sponsors, work-life professionals, corporate leaders, content experts, fathers and observers of work-life trends. This report focuses on the key findings of the study and, more importantly, the implications and action recommendations discussed by retreat attendees, a predominantly male assembly. We hope we have started a conversation that will continue to generate stimulating dialogue and innovative solutions to a range of workplace issues that appear to defy obvious demographic trends and the social needs of workers, and which ultimately undermine the success of workers and the businesses that employ them.