Research Areas

Work-Family Policies and Issues Working Group

Seminar on Work-Family in the 21st Century

CPRC has had a work-family group since 2008. In 2012, CPRC’s work-family group and the Provost's Office of Work/Life successfully applied to Columbia's University Seminar program to launch a University Seminar on Work-Family in the 21st Century.

The seminar is co-sponsored by CPRC, the Provost’s Office of Work/Life, and Columbia’s University Seminar program. It is jointly organized by: Carol Hoffman, Associate Provost and Director of Work/Life at Columbia University; Wendy Chavkin, Professor of Population and Family Health and Obstetrics-Gynecology, Mailman School; and Jane Waldfogel, Professor, Columbia University School of Social Work. Chavkin and Waldfogel co-lead CPRC’s Work/Family Group. Participants come from varied disciplinary perspectives and bring expertise in the demography of the American family, global developments, the perspective of employers, the challenges facing low-income and minority families, and current public policy developments both in the U.S. and other countries. Additional experts are invited to attend single meetings of the seminar as speakers on specific topics. 

The focus of this seminar is to: 

  1. Review recent demographic trends and their implications for American families. 
  2. Consider the range of work/family policies and their rationales. 
  3. Learn about new approaches to work/family policy, drawing on examples from innovative cities and states as well as other countries. 
  4. Discuss the politics of work/family policies and what is needed to influence adoption of new policies, particularly at the federal level. 
  5. Identify knowledge gaps and agendas for further research.

The seminar met 5 times during the 2012-2013 academic year, and 5 times during the 2013-2014 academic year. A rapporteur attended to document group decisions and action steps.