Centre for Gender Studies

Current events

Women’s Work: How mothers manage flexible working in careers and family life‎

Wednesday 21 November 15:00 until 16:00
Freeman G31
Speaker: Dr Zoe Young
Part of the series: Sociology Seminar Series

Dr Zoe Young will present her recently published book, “Women’s Work: How mothers manage flexible working in careers and family life”, which is based on qualitative longitudinal research for her PhD in Sociology at Sussex (2017). 

Abstract: Dr Zoe Young’s research followed a year in the lives of 30 mothers of infants through to teenagers, working in a range of UK industries – law, banking and finance, consulting, technology, health, and public service. All 30 women were managers or held professional jobs at that pivotal level in large organisations when men start to outnumber women, and women disappear from the pipeline to the top jobs. Drawing on over 100 hours of interviews, Young reveals the complex hidden lives of working women and the lengths they go to so they can maintain a career alongside motherhood. Introducing the concepts of ‘quiet responsibility’ and ‘flexibility fatigue’, the heavy-lifting involved in a year of working flexibly in a managerial and professional job is vividly brought to life in women’s deeply personal stories of choice, change, continuity, challenge and success. Five actions are proposed for policymakers, employers, and the family that are essential to address the limitations and fulfil the transformational potential of flexible working for productivity and gender equality in careers and family life.

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By: Laura Arnold
Last updated: Wednesday, 31 October 2018

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