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March 16, 2012Roughly 27 percent of American women work flexible schedules today, up from 11 percent in 1984. Can this shift of work styles explain the recent results of a poll finding high levels of work-life satisfaction among women? Find out more about the latest trends around work-life, plus news about women and work, in today’s C This.

Lowered Expectations?

A recent poll on work-life effectiveness by lifestyle magazine Real Simple found that 68 percent of women said that their jobs “rarely or never interfere with their personal lives.” Does this surprisingly high level of satisfaction reflect real progress in the workplace, or just a readjustment of expectations around what companies are willing—and not willing—to offer?

READ: “Have Women Found Work/Life Balance?” Real Simple, 3/15/12

Down Under - On Top

Go Oz! A global survey of women in senior management in 40 different countries found that Australia has the highest proportion of female CEOs—with three in ten businesses led by women. On the other end of the spectrum, the survey found that only 5 percent of senior management positions were filled by women in Japan, followed by Germany (13 percent), India (14 percent) and Denmark (15 percent).

READ: “Number of Women in Senior Management Falls in Canada, Rises in Europe,” Canada Newswire, 3/15/12

Listen Up

This round-up of advice from leading women in business includes a few gems on how to lead. “When you tell people the truth, in a timely fashion, you show them respect. And that's how you earn it too,” notes entrepreneur and CEO Margaret Heffernen. And what about gaining experience? “Nonprofit boards provide extraordinary opportunities for women to engage at the highest levels of leadership,” said Alice Korngold, founder of Korngold Consulting, “including as board chairs, vice chairs, secretaries of the board, treasurers, and committee chairs.”

READ: “What Glass Ceiling? Killer Career Advice From Women Who Lead By Example,” Fast Company, 3/5/12

Stepping Up to Real Change

Last week, Catalyst Canada launched the Catalyst Accord for Canadian companies. “I’m a great believer in the fact that if you don’t have voluntary targets that you measure, then often very little happens,” said RBC chief executive officer Gordon Nixon, who signed the accord. What’s good for women is good for business – it’s so great to see the Accord gaining momentum in Canada.

READ: “The 25% Solution: How to Diversify the Boardroom,” Globe and Mail, 3/8/12

A Sporting Chance

In Saudi Arabia, women are prohibited from entering sports arenas. But will this be the first year Saudi women participate in the Olympics? Following pressure from groups like Human Rights Watch, the IOC reached out to Saudi Arabia, along with Brunei and Qatar, to negotiate ways to increase female participation. “The IOC is working very closely so as to ensure the three countries that have never had woman representation at the Olympic Games will send a representation,” said IOC director general Christophe De Kepper. “It is too soon to say where we stand now but we are working hard. What we can say is that the three parties are very cooperative in finding a solution.”

READ: “Olympics-IOC Hopes All Nations Will Send Women to London Games,” Reuters, 3/13/12