cmn 685 work life balance interview

For this assignment, you will need to identify a family member, friend, co-worker, mentor, professor/teacher/coach, or other acquaintance you feel comfortable speaking with about issues related to gender, work, family, and work-life balance. This person should have one or more children aged 15 and under living at home and should be employed (full-time or part-time). I would prefer that you NOT interview one of your parents unless you have a compelling reason to do so (and you check in with me via e-mail about it).

I have included a list of questions for you to begin your interview—you should then include 5 questions of your own (and hand the questions and answers in with your assignment). You also are required to submit a 2-3 page reflection on the interview experience, including what you learned and how that relates to class theories and concepts.

You may want to consider using a recording device during the interview (iPhone or video) so that you can be engaged during the interview and not working so hard to write down/type up every answer. With the interaction recorded, you can easily go back and fill in what you missed later on. You will want to get permission from the person you are interviewing to record the interview, and also to share his/her responses both with your professor and in class. You do not have to include the person’s name/identity if he/she is not comfortable going “on record.” Also, be sure to thank your interviewee for his or her time!

This assignment is due on Thursday, April 2 by 9:30 a.m. on Canvas. We will be discussing these interviews in class on Tuesday, April 7, so please also bring a printed copy to class that day that you can refer to during our discussion.

The information below is also attached in a Word document that you can download and fill in here: InterviewAssignment.docx

Interviewee Information:



Marital/Relationship Status:

Age of child/children living at home:


Length of time employed at current occupation:

Hours per week worked outside the home:

Hours per week worked inside the home (professional):

Hours of week worked inside the home (domestic, estimated):

Does your spouse/relationship partner also work outside the home?

If so, part-time or full-time?

Interview Questions:

  1. What does the term “work/family balance” or “work/life balance” mean to you?

  1. Who would you consider the “lead parent” in your household (e.g. the person who manages kids’ schedules, appointments, school events/contacts, organizes household chores, etc.)?

  1. What are some of the biggest challenges that you face as a working parent?

  1. Did you have a paid or unpaid parental leave after having a child? Or if you were not the parent who gave birth, did the birth mother have a paid or unpaid leave? How long was it? Did it seem long enough?

  1. Did you continue to work when your children were pre-school aged? If so, how did you manage child care before your children were in school?

  1. How do you handle days when your child is home sick unexpectedly, or when there are snow days/snow delays?

  1. How do you manage school vacation weeks, teacher workshop days, etc.? (if you’re children are old enough to be home alone, how did you manage when they were younger)?

  1. How do you manage summer vacation?

  1. How do you manage before school or after school care (in other words, how do you arrange for child care during the school year to match your typical work hours)?

  1. Did you think about all of the complications of balancing work and family (such as the questions just answered) before you had children?

  1. What was surprising to you, after you had children, as you continued to manage your career?

  1. Has your career advanced in the way you had hoped, or on the timeline you had expected, since having children?

  1. Do you feel you have made compromises in your career, or made different choices than you might have otherwise, due to having to manage work and children?

  1. Have you ever felt that you were treated differently at work (by your peers/colleagues) due to your status as a working parent?

  1. Have you ever faced criticism, different treatment (than that of co-workers) or explicit bias from a superior/supervisor as a result of being a working parent?

  1. Does your immediate superior/supervisor have children?

  1. Have there been expectations of “good” parenting that you feel have been difficult to meet, or that you had to compromise, in order to meet the obligations of work?

  1. Have you ever experienced guilt based on the decisions you have made as a parent in order to be viewed as “an ideal worker” (e.g. keep consistent hours, meet deadlines, be available to superiors and co-workers, be a team player, etc.)?

  1. Knowing what you know now about how you balance work and family, would you still choose your current career or job situation? If not, what would you have done differently?

  1. If you could change one thing about how you currently manage work and family, what would it be?

  1. Do you feel that your sex (male vs. female), or gender (masculine/feminine) has influenced your experience of managing work and family?

  1. Do you feel that your economic status (upper-class, middle-class, working-class) makes work/family balance more or less challenging?

  1. Do you feel that you have a support network (spouse/partner, extended family, friends) that allows you to better manage work and family responsibilities and obligations?

  1. If you feel that you manage work and family well, would you say that you also have achieved work/life balance (e.g. that you also have time for yourself, maintain good nutrition and exercise, have time for activities and interests outside of work/family)?

You must also add 5 follow-up questions of your own–please list the questions and answers here. Also, for this assignment, please include a 2-3 page written reflection on the interview experience, what you learned, and how it relates to concepts we have discussed in class.