What J. Lo’s “Back-up plan” has to tell us about U.S. economic competitiveness

Eye-catching headline aside, readers can safely skip over the first two paragraphs of Maddy Dychtwald and Christine Larson’s Huffington Post article, in which J. Lo’s latest movie The Back-up Plan is mostly just an entertaining hook. But don’t miss paragraph 3 and beyond, where the authors introduce a few eye-opening facts about modern motherhood and today’s families, and ably connect the dots to improving U.S. competitiveness in the years ahead:

The number of single moms by choice is expanding faster than a pair of maternity jeans. The number of babies born to single mothers by choice, like the one J. Lo plays, has grown a phenomenal 145 percent since 1980, according to journalist Emily Bazelon, writing in the New York Times Magazine. Today, a whopping 40 percent of U.S. babies are born to unmarried mothers. Plus, some 13,000 single women every year adopt children domestically, and that’s not counting international adoptions.

As we discuss in our new book, Influence: How Women’s Soaring Economic Power will Change Our World for the Better, the rise of the single mom is just one swell in the societal tsunami transforming families around the world. … Noah’s Ark, with its inhabitants paired up two-by-two, is sinking. And unless our workplaces, communities and governing bodies realize that, our ability to compete in a global economy will sink along with it.

Read the full article here.

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