Parents vs non-parents

Feb 23 2005 by Brian Amble Print This Article

An excellent piece by Anita Chaudhuri in The Times explores the simmering resentment that is dividing the workforce across battle lines that transcend gender and class parents versus non-parents.

THOUGH feelings already run high on both sides of the divide, it may get worse, according to Catherine Hakim, a sociologist at the London School of Economics.

In the future there is going to be conflict in the workplace between two groups, said Hakim, the author of Childlessness in Europe, a report examining the impact of family-friendly policies on the lives of the voluntarily childless. On one side are the adaptive types who choose to have balance between paid work and family. On the other are careerists who value competitive achievement in the workplace. Women are more likely to belong to the adaptive group, but not all do and not all careerists are non-parents. The two groups will conflict and its not a gender issue, its about value systems. Individualists versus more collective, family-oriented people.

The Times | Focus: It's not fair!