Selasa, 25 Februari 2014

Numbers behind what I have heard and felt

The review about this product

I am included in what I believe most will find shocking from the survey results in Friedman's book; the number of students that responded that they planned to have or adopt children dropped almost in half between the 1992 and 2012 surveys. These results suggest that since 1992, the subsequent generation (a.k.a., the Millennials) have started to opt out of parenthood to focus on their careers. Basically, Millennials struggle to see how to make career and family work.

Friedman does a fantastic job laying out the data driving this drastic drop in a desire to have children. Below I have highlighted a few:
1. The perceived number of hours in the work place has risen by 14 hours per week from 1992 to 2012.
2. Students are exiting college with more student loan debt, and cannot foresee paying it off in time to have a family.
3. The Millennials are questioning the purpose of having children if you cannot be there to raise them.

A quote from a student, which resonated with me from the book:
"This idea of growing up and having to figure out whether career is the most important thing or family---especially as a woman, I feel like I might have to make a decision at some point that I don't necessarily want to make."

And like anything worth fixing, it is complex.Friedman lays out a wonderful vision for how "We Are All Part of the Revolution". Some of my personal favorites are below:
Make Family Leave Available
Provide World-Class Child Care
Revise the Education Calendar
Slow Careers (akin to the Slow Food movement)
Men Leaning in at Home
Giving Individuals the Tools and Support to Choose the Lives They Want
Friedman references a system he implemented at Ford Motor and wrote a book about titled Total Leadership: Be a Better Leader, Have a Richer Life.

However, I would like to mention who is also doing their part by giving families the process and tools they need to plan their maternity leaves and reentries into their careers.

In summary, this book is one of those books that energizes me and tells me that these problems are real and that there is hope and need for change. I am grateful that Stewart Friedman has done such a wonderful job bringing data, arguments, and a vision for the current and future families of America.


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