Some Advice to Help Put Your Kids on a Career Path Now

In the famous scene from The Graduate, Ben is cornered by guests at his college graduation party who ask, “What are you going to do now?” One man offers a single word of advice: “Plastics.” By the movie’s end, Ben is still clueless about his future. And there most likely will be thousands of versions of Ben among the 4 million students receiving degrees this month. Added to the usual post-college confusion is not only a working world radically changed. …

It’s Not Your Father’s Old Age!

This article originally appeared in “The Power of Ideas: A Collection of Insights to Transform the Future,” The Milken Institute, April 2015. Our ability to live longer, healthier and more productive lives is one of mankind’s greatest accomplishments. Most people turning 50 today can expect to live another 30-plus years, most of it in relatively good health. That’s more time than they spent in childhood, in adolescence, and for many, it’s more time than they spend working. Yet, research shows …

Life Lessons From GM’s Mary Barra

At an auto assembly plant in Pontiac, Mich., back in 1980, 18-year-old Mary Makela got a hands-on education about what life was like on the factory floor. It was noisy and dirty and rough. And then there were the catcalls. “Every time I turned this one corner,” she says, “this guy would kind of yell. Finally, I walked over and asked him, ‘Why do you do that?’” and he said, ‘I don’t know.’” She laughs at the recollection. Challenging him …

Family and Medical Leave Rights Expanded to All Legally Married Couples

Starting March 27, legally married same-sex couples will be able to take unpaid time off to care for a spouse or sick family members even if they live in a state that doesn’t recognize their marriage. The final rule issued by the Department of Labor revises the definition of “spouse” in the Family and Medical Leave Act to recognize legally married same-sex couples regardless of where they live. Prior to that, only couples that lived in a state that recognized …

A Juggling Act: Work and Caregiving

When her mother’s dementia progressed, Jamie from Alabama stepped up to help her remain at home. She is one of the 42 million Americans who give their hearts as family caregivers every day, helping older parents, spouses or other loved ones live independently, with dignity. “We all pitched in to help,” Jamie said. “In the early years, it was possible for us to take turns having her stay in our homes for several months at a time. Her illness had …

Making Social Security Work for Women

Social Security is gender neutral, meaning men and women earning the same amount in their careers should receive the same size benefit. In reality, a woman’s benefit on average is lower than a man’s — $1,103 vs. $1,417 in 2012 — because her work and personal experiences are rarely the same. Women tend to earn less — an average of 78 cents for every $1 a man makes. They are more likely to be in low-paying jobs without pensions and to …