Work Life Visionaries Share Insights

Families and Work Institute launches Ideas Video Series with Stephanie Coontz

September 17, 2013

NEW YORK — Families and Work Institute announces a ten-part video series with some of the top thinkers in the work-life field launching today with Stephanie Coontz, director of research at the Council on Contemporary Families and author of A Strange Stirring: The Feminine Mystique and American Women at the Dawn of the 1960s.

This unprecedented series offers insights from individuals who helped shape the work-life and work-family discussion in the United States, and will surely spark a national discussion on the state of the workplace today — where we’ve been, and where we’re going.

Ellen Galinsky, president of Families and Work Institute, describes this group of speakers as “some of the best minds in the country on the new normal in the workforce and in the workplace.” And Coontz, she added, “knows so much about how family life has changed, particularly for women and for men, over the past centuries.”

Here’s an excerpt from Coontz’s eye-opening talk: 

Stop thinking the dilemmas we face in work-family policy stem from the collapse of the traditional male bread winner family, there is no such thing as the traditional male bread winner family. It was late arriving, short lived family aberration in the history of the world. It’s time to get over it.

The videos, to be posted on the Institute’s YouTube channel one every few weeks, were part of Families and Work Institute’s Work Life Legacy Awards event held earlier this year where these ten pioneers were honored, including:

Rosalind Chait Barnett, PhD, Senior Scientist, Women’s Studies Research Center, Brandeis University; Lisa Belkin, former New York Times Motherlode blogger and now Huffington Post’s Senior Columnist on Life/Work/Family; Ellen Bravo, Executive Director of Family Values @ Work; Stewart D. Friedman, PhD, Practice Professor of Management, Director of the Work/Life Integration Project, The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania; Bradley K. Googins, PhD, Professor, Carroll School of Management and Founder of Boston College Center for Work & Family; Arlene A. Johnson, recently Mayor of Livingston, NJ, former Vice President at WFD Consulting, former Catalyst and The Conference Board leader; Brad Harrington, EdD, Executive Director, Center for Work & Family or Center for Work and Family and Associate Research Professor, Carroll School of Management, Boston College; Sylvia Ann Hewlett, PhD President and CEO, Center for Talent Innovation, author of Winning the War for Talent in Emerging Markets: Why Women Are the Solution; and Deborah M. Stahl, Deborah Stahl Consulting, former Director of the AT&T Family Care Development Fund.

Stephanie Coontz teaches history and family studies at The Evergreen State College in Olympia, WA. She also serves as Co-Chair and Director of Public Education at the Council on Contemporary Families, a non-profit, nonpartisan association of family researchers and practitioners based at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Her work has been featured in many newspapers such as The New York Times, as well as scholarly journals such as Journal of Marriage and Family, and she is frequently interviewed on national television and radio.

Follow us on and to find out when the next insightful work-life video is posted and join the conversation.
For more information contact Eve Tahmincioglu, 302-521-1215, or

Families and Work Institute (FWI) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan research organization that studies the changing workforce, family and community. As a preeminent think tank, FWI is known for being ahead of the curve, identifying emerging issues, and then conducting rigorous research that often challenges common wisdom and provides insight and knowledge. As an action tank, FWI conducts numerous studies that put its research into action and then evaluates the results. Its purpose is to create research to live by. For more information, visit

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