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Companies Pitch Flextime as Macho

By Kristopher A. Nelson in

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An older article from December of 2006, but an interesting look at what some large firms are doing to try and retain their work force. WSJ.com – Companies Pitch Flextime as Macho:

Here’s a novel approach to keeping women in the work force: Focus on men.

Some employers are trying to overcome a perceived stigma on flexible work schedules—often viewed as a concession to women—by redefining the issue as a quality-of-life concern for everyone. The approach is gaining traction, especially in the male-dominated financial-services sector, where employers have long struggled to retain and promote women.

Among the techniques companies are testing: highlighting successful men who have tapped flexible work arrangements; encouraging more employees to work from home part of the time; and promoting alternative career paths.

Many of the ideas aren’t new, but it’s the first time they have been aggressively pitched to men. Encouraging men to consider flexible work arrangements is a way of “making it legitimate,” says Sylvia Ann Hewlett, president of the Center for Work-Life Policy, a New York research and advocacy group.

Note: Link to article has been revised due to changes at the WSJ site (May 13, 2008).