Beauvias, Laura [faculty advisor, College of Business Administration]
work family balance; work life integration; working mothers
Joan Kofodimos, author of, Balancing Act: How Managers Can Integrate Successful Careers and Fulfilling Personal Lives (1993), defines work-family integration as, “Having a satisfying, healthy, and productive life that includes work, play, and love; that integrates a range of life activities with attention to self and to personal and spiritual development; and that expresses a person’s unique wishes, interests, and values.” It is particularly important to help working mothers gain work-family integration, also known as work-family balance, because of the effects on family, work, and society. The burden of work and family often falls disproportionately on the shoulders of working mothers. Although there is no such a thing as an ideal job when it comes to work and life integration, there are plenty of solutions practicing professionals and companies can initiate in order to make the balance easier. In this paper, I will describe the scholarly research on: the reasons why work-family balance concerns are important, how working mothers experience it (or the lack thereof), and then potential solutions (individual, organizational, and government solutions). In addition, the results of a panel discussion held in early November 2007 at the University of Rhode Island, of the experiences of three working mothers will be presented. Lastly, I will draw general conclusions of how practicing professionals and managers may better manage work-family balance and integration.