I think I must be dreaming. Could this study really have been done, published, and publicized?
In case you’ve missed the unfortunately named Katty Kay on her media junket, she’s a BBC journalist who’s recently co-written a book with Claire Shipman called (in part) Womenomics. In it they do actual studies (as re-reported by the illustrious Economist) that prove that the companies that employ the most high-ranking women make the most money. More incredibly, they have found that the companies do better if they don’t pretend the women are no different than men in management style or priorities. Their conclusion is that the economy would exclusively benefit from employing more women in high-ranking jobs, paying them equally, and allowing them to be women.
I can vouch that I would have been much more productive these past months had I been allowed to work from home until a spot for my baby in a good daycare had opened. It would have spared me countless hours of worry, not to mention trips to pediatricians and specialists (her unhappiness in the bad environment manifested itself in failing health). Plus, working from home could have provided me a way to work flex hours, thereby increasing my workday and my productivity.
In Spain, this is usually allowed (I encountered, amazingly enough, a uniquely American situation), and actually taken to the next level: applying the same rules to men. Paternity leave was just the latest in what has been a part of the culture. Men in my university routinely take charge of their young children, taking them to and picking them up from daycare, and bringing them into the office or taking days off to care for them when they are sick. It yields an environment that rewards the whole family for being a family, and makes the workers feel more wholly appreciated.
So, yes, it seems like a dream that someone has proven that this method is more efficient and productive. Especially as I’m job hunting. So, thank you, Katty Kay, for my future interview’s talking points.