Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Will Gen X men lead the way to family-friendly workplaces?
I had a really cool experience recently. I got to sit down with a group of Gen X professionals and talk about the issues that are affecting our careers – and our lives.
One issue that came up was regarding Gen X men and fatherhood and work. One guy in the group said, “I can’t stay late. Maybe 30 years ago I could work 15 hours a day, because maybe my wife would stay home. But we have kids and my wife has a job and we have stuff to do.”
And the other guys in the audience nodded. And the gals, too.
In the last century, we were rewarded for taking longer to do our work. You must have worked really hard on that project if it took you 8 hours to complete rather than 4. Today, it just sounds ridiculous.
I wonder if in this century it will be Gen X men who will be fighting for family-friendly workplaces. It makes sense. There’s probably even more pressure on them from older guys to give it all to the company (in some ways, I think it’s a lot easier for a woman to get a pass when it comes to these issues.) If I were a guy, I would think it’s ridiculous that I was expected to spend more time away from family because of my gender.
What do you think?