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Sloan Center News

Aging & Work Director Invited to White House Forum

29 March 2010—Boston College’s Director of the Sloan Center on Aging & Work and Associate Professor in the Graduate School of Social Work, Dr. Marcie Pitt-Catsouphes, has been invited by the Obama Administration to a Forum on Workplace Flexibility Wednesday, March 31st at the White House.

"The administration’s serious look at workplace flexibility is an indicator that we are on the cusp of innovative thinking about workplace practices that can meet business objectives and also be ‘people-friendly’," says Pitt-Catsouphes who has published on work-life issues for more than 20 years and was awarded the Work Life Legacy Award from the Families and Work Institute in 2007. "The forum will be a fantastic opportunity to expand conversations about workplace flexibility to include employees of all ages and across all career stages, including older workers."

Drawing attention to important quality of employment issues and advocating for new ways of working that maximize business effectiveness and employee satisfaction has been a major focus of Pitt-Catsouphes' work at the Sloan Center on Aging & Work. With the support of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, Pitt-Catsouphes has led major studies such as the 2007-2008 Age & Generations Study, the 2009 Talent Management Study, and, currently, the multi-national Generations of Talent Study—all of which were designed to examine workplace flexibility as a compelling issue.

According to the White House, the President and First Lady will discuss the importance of creating workplace practices that allow America’s working men and women to meet the demands of their jobs without sacrificing the needs of their families. “As the parents of two young girls, Michelle and I understand the challenges America’s working families face and we are looking forward to hearing from moms, dads, business leaders, advocates and experts about their ideas for creating and encouraging flexible workplaces, so that working Americans do not have to choose between their careers and meeting the needs of their families,” said President Obama.

The forum will include labor leaders, CEOs, small business owners, and policy experts. "This historic event will focus on strategic questions and will help to shape a new vision for the 21st century workplace," comments Pitt-Catsouphes. “The aging of the workforce can offer new opportunities to re-vitalize and expand essential flexible work options which have become a critical component of today’s good management practice.”

Forum on Workplace Flexibility: Opening Session
First Lady Michelle Obama speaks about the importance of creating workplaces that allow workers to balance job and family as she opens the Forum of Workplace Flexibility. A panel discussion follows the First Lady’s remarks [view video of session at whitehouse.gov]

Forum on Workplace Flexibility: Closing Session
President Obama speaks about how both men and women need flexible workplace options to help balance the needs of family and work as he closes the Forum on Workplace Flexibility [view video of session at whitehouse.gov]