We–fellow Work in Progress Blogger Adia Harvey Wingfield and I–recently attended a summit centered on Redesigning and Redefining Work. This summit, organized by the Clayman Institute for Gender Research at Stanford University, had lofty goals: to join academic researchers, government policy makers, members of the media, and company representatives to discuss, among other things, new ways to redesign the world of work so that workplaces can better align—for the long term—with the composition and needs of today’s workforce while at the same time allowing workers and businesses to flourish.
The summit focused, among other things, on how flexible work arrangements have the potential to change work environments in ways that produce greater gender equality. Presenters from corporate and academic sectors considered the ways that these programs have been implemented, barriers to implementation, successes, challenges, and benefits. The program offered a number of different perspectives on ways that flexible work arrangements can have multiple, expected, and possibly surprising benefits for workers and for corporations.
We wanted to share our personal observations of the summit, whose agenda can be found here, because we feel that sociologists of work should be keyed into the discussion of redesign. We also think the public should be aware of—and join in via commenting here—work redesign discussions happening in academic, workplace, and policy circles.