Flextime for menMaking use of flexible work hours is an...


August 12, 1991

Flextime for men

Making use of flexible work hours is an important option not only for women but also for men.

"Men make up the majority of the work force, and until they start participating more equally in family responsibilities, it is going to be left to women -- who also work -- to run the home and raise the children," said Faith Wohl, director of the work-force partnering division of corporate human resources at Du Pont Co., the chemical producer based in Wilmington, Del.

"When you look at a company like ours, where 76 percent of 95,000 domestic [U.S.] employees are men, you see the importance of men also taking advantage of flexible hours," Ms. Wohl said.

Nationwide, 52 percent of 463 companies surveyed by the International Foundation of Employee Benefits Plans in Brookfield, Wis., offer flextime, according to American Demographics magazine. By the year 2000, the percentage is expected to leap to 86 percent.

Du Pont is one of the pioneers in work-family options. Its flexible programs include work hours that can be scheduled on a daily or weekly basis as needed: a workweek of four 10-hour days, job-sharing and benefits for part-time workers.

Only a handful of male employees have taken advantage of Du Pont's flexible hours.

But indications are that usage may go up soon: A Du Pont work and family study of 8,500 employees at three major Du Pont sites in the United States shows that 56 percent of the 6,000 men surveyed are interested in flextime. Five years ago, only 37 percent were. A majority of the men surveyed were from dual-career households; 20 percent had at least one child in day care.

Global career horizons

Executive search firms already are deep into the "future" global marketplace, working for multinational companies. Today, they are seeking candidates with in-depth backgrounds in international business and strong language skills. According to Executive Recruiters News, growth in international business is the key trend in executive search. While domestic revenue for 40 of the largest U.S. firms grew only 2.8 percent in 1990, international revenue for nine top firms jumped 21 percent.

Among the leaders, Heidrick & Struggles' revenue abroad rose 62 percent; Paul R. Ray & Carre Orban's went up 35 percent; and Russell Reynolds, Korn/Ferry, Egon Zehnder and Boyden registered gains of 15 to 25 percent.

The majority of revenue soon will be generated outside the United States, says Jim Kennedy, editor and publisher of Executive Recruiter News in Fitzwilliam, N.H.

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