International Journal of Business and Social Science

ISSN 2219-1933 (Print), 2219-6021 (Online) DOI: 10.30845/ijbss

Generational Warfare: The New Workplace
Amy Rummel, Frances A. Viggiani

The problem of balancing work and family, career and parenting is currently receiving a great deal of attention in the national press. Cover stories in the New York Times and Business Week have focused on changing patterns in child bearing and the “traditional” family and on what many have called the “glass ceiling” vs. women’s choices to abandon the climb to the top. The dilemma that now seems to be facing career families is the regrets held by many at the over 40 age that their choice was to break the glass ceiling at the expense of having children. In 2003, approximately 200 undergraduates were surveyed to understand their perceptions of this dilemma. Do they perceive a conflict between their career aspirations and a family? Have they been smart enough to figure out the balance that has somehow escaped the 1980’s workforce? Or is history going to repeat itself?The results of this data indicated that this generation believes they can have it all. They believe that organizations will accommodate family into the workplace and that while there is some discrimination in an organization, career distinctions between men and women do not exist. The regrets that are haunting the baby boomers appear to be resolved for this generation. Yet the question remains, our the graduates of today facing a new world which will make these life “choices” no longer exist or are they being naïve.An identical survey was administered to random sample of alumni graduating in 1970-1975, 1980-1985, and 1990-1995. The responses to these questions will be able to assess the reality of the workforce of 2004. Have the previous generations created a brave new world or will they be faced in 20 years with similar choices and potential regrets.

Full Text: PDF