In this episode, the WorkLife HUB podcast sits down with Caitlyn Collins, Assistant Professor of Sociology at Washington University in St. Louis, author of Making Motherhood Work: How Women Manage Careers and Caregiving. Listen in as Agnes and Caitlyn speak about the notion of work-life justice, gender inequality at the workplace and in family life, and the findings of a cross-national research study interviewing 135 working women.
Caitlyn Collins is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at Washington University in St. Louis and author of Making Motherhood Work: How Women Manage Careers and Caregiving. Her book is a cross-national interview study of 135 working mothers in Sweden, Germany, Italy, and the United States. Her research has been published in peer-reviewed journals and has been featured in the popular press including The Atlantic, Forbes, The New York Times, and The Washington Post. She is a 2019 Nancy Weiss Malkiel Scholar, a 2018 Work and Family Researchers Network Early Career Fellow, and a contributor for The Atlantic, The New York Times, and Slate.In this episode Stew and Caitlyn discuss the cross-national differences Caitlyn observed in her research on working mothers in four countries. It was only the American women who blamed themselves for the stresses and strains of life as a working mother. In the other nations, women understood there were external constraints, out of their immediate control, that affected the stress they feel from conflict between work and the rest of their lives. And they expected the community, the society, the government to collectively invest in the essential tasks of caring for rearing the future generation of tax payers and employees. They grasped that this is not a private, family responsibility, but a shared one. Apart from voting to create change in our social policy, which of course is essential, Caitlyn offers other ideas for how we Americans can orchestrate ways of being exposed to people different from ourselves, outside of our own immediate community, so we can better understand and feel part of the commonweal and compassionately invest in all aspects of our society, especially our children. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Caitlyn Collins, a sociologist at Washington University in St. Louis, conducted interviews with mothers in four countries -- the United States, Italy, Germany, and Sweden -- who have jobs outside the home to better understand the pressures they felt. She found that American moms were by far the most stressed, primarily because of the lack of parental benefits offered by their employers and the government. In Europe, women told Collins they had more help, but at times cultural norms around their personal and professional roles had yet to catch up. Collins thinks companies can work to improve the situation but argues that the real solution is carefully designed government interventions that will help families at all income levels. She’s the author of the book “Making Motherhood Work: How Women Manage Careers and Caregiving.”
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