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Work-life balance and women’s careers in UK higher education Stephen Court UCU senior research officer 1 February 2010 1.

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Presentation on theme: "Work-life balance and women’s careers in UK higher education Stephen Court UCU senior research officer 1 February 2010 1."— Presentation transcript:

1 Work-life balance and women’s careers in UK higher education Stephen Court UCU senior research officer 1 February 2010 1

2 A definition Work-life balance – having a measure of control over when, where and how you work, leading to being able to enjoy an optimal quality of life. Work-life balance is achieved when an individual’s right to a fulfilled life inside and outside paid work is accepted and respected as the norm, to the mutual benefit of the individual, business and society (Work Foundation) 2

3 The demands of home and work By 2010, one in five UK workers will be mothers; 25% of all families will be single parent families; up to 10 million people will be caring for elderly relatives; there will be one million fewer workers under 50 and three million more over 50 by 2022. 3

4 The demands of home and work We now live in a ‘service’ world where customers – including fee-paying students - increasingly expect a personalised, 24/7 offer. Technology and long commuting distances mean more people are working from different locations or from home. 4

5 The demands of home and work Technology – especially email, mobile phones - makes employees more accessible/work harder to escape Technology creates a demand for more availability & more methods of communication, eg blogs & other things I’ve probably never heard of 5

6 Surrey: why bother? ‘The University [of Surrey] recognises that flexibility in employment enables benefits for both staff and the business: Assists in retaining skilled staff; Compete effectively in attracting new staff; Raise staff morale and commitment; Reduce absenteeism by promoting well-being; Extends the working day in terms of office cover; 6

7 Surrey: why bother? Helps to reduce pressure on car parking; Changing academic cycle; Promotes equality of opportunity; Supports working prior to retirement (excellent tool for succession planning). The retiree can act as a mentor while passing on skills/knowledge.’ OLICY.PDF 7

8 Why bother? Competition to attract and retain good employees continues to make work-life balance a differentiator. 8

9 Manchester: employer of choice Our mission…………….. ‘To position the University as an exemplary employer and a destination of preference for all staff both nationally and internationally so as to enable it to become one of the leading Universities in the world by 2015’ strategy_27march2008.pdf 9

10 Employer of choice: maternity pay HEI Service QualificationPeriodWeeks Pay Amount Manchester26 weeks1st26100% Manchester26 weeks2nd13statutory Manchester26 weeks3rd13unpaid Durham1 year1st8100% Durham1 year2nd1650% Durham1 year3 rd 15statutory Durham1 year4th13unpaid 10

11 Employer of choice: maternity pay HEI Service QualificationPeriodWeeks Pay Amount Exeter 1 year1st8100% Exeter 1 year2nd1650% Exeter 1 year3rd15Statutory Exeter 1 year4th13Unpaid Surrey 7 years1st26100% Surrey 7 years2nd2650% York 1 year1st18100% York 1 year2nd21Statutory York 1 year3rd13Unpaid 11

12 Durham: control over when you work? ‘Academic staff are expected to be available throughout term and vacation (apart from annual leave) to fulfil teaching, research and administrative requirements as set out by their Board of Studies.’ 12

13 Bath: flexible hours? ‘It is available, where the exigencies of the service permit, to all groups of staff other than academic staff, since they already have flexible working arrangements.’ ‘No fixed hours of work are specified for academic staff. Because of the nature of their work, academic staff are considered to be exempt from the provisions of the Working Time Regulations 1998 governing maximum weekly working hours.’ 13

14 Exeter: hours Teaching & research job family ‘There are no specific hours of work but staff are required to work such hours as are necessary to carry out the duties associated with the appointment...’ 14

15 Durham: flexible working You can request your supervisor to be able to work flexibly, but the emphasis is on meeting legal requirements under the Employment Act 2002 and Work and Families Act 2006, giving eligible parents or employees caring for adults the right to request flexible working to enable them to care for a child or adult Durham doesn’t appear to offer the breadth of options provided by Surrey, for example 15

16 Surrey: flexible working ‘The University’s policy on requests to change hours and patterns of work gives all staff an entitlement to request a change to their working pattern, as opposed to certain groups of staff under the statutory guidelines ‘ %20POLICY.PDF 16

17 Surrey: flexible working Part-time working Term-time working Job-sharing Compressed working hours Annualized hours Staggered hours Working from home Tele-working Additional planned unpaid leave BLE%20WORKING%20POLICY.PDF 17

18 Durham: job-sharing ‘Requests to "job share" must be given full and fair consideration. We have a legal responsibility to make every effort to accommodate requests for part time working following maternity leave but it is also good employment practice. The opportunity to "job share" is however open to men and women alike and at all levels.’ 18

19 Childcare provision Most HEIs have childcare provision, but vary according to: Cost Number of places Age range Opening hours Extent subsidised ‘in-house’ or outsourced? 19

20 Data Growing % of UK academics are women Women more likely to work part-time Women work shorter hours on average More seniority = fewer women Women less likely to combine teaching & research Women less likely to be counted research active Pay gap doesn’t appear to be narrowing 20

21 UK academics – mode of employment 1995-62000-12005-6 MaleTotal 86,39088,72095,750 % part-time 8.7%12.7%26.2% FemaleTotal 40,19551,22069,125 % part-time 19.0%23.9%41.1% Total 126,585139,940164,875 F % of total 31.8%36.6%41.9% SourceHESA Resources of HEIs, series, table 13/8 21

22 UK academics – mode % Part- time2005-6 Teaching- only Research -only Teaching- and- research Female 81.4%24.1%22.9% Male 80.5%10.7%10.9% 22

23 Average hours worked in term-time week, UCU survey 2008 23

24 UK academics - professors 1995-62000-12005-6 ProfessorsMale8,32511,77012,915 Female7701,6902,590 % Female 8.5%12.6%16.7% SourceHESA Resources of HEIs, series, table 14/9 1:121:6 24

25 UK academics – senior lecturers and researchers 1995-62000-12005-6 SL & RMale17,04517,91018,755 Female3,9006,0459,460 % Female 18.6%25.2%33.5% SourceHESA Resources of HEIs, series, table 14/9 1:51:41:3 25

26 UK academics - lecturers 1995-62000-12005-6 LecturersMale32,97529,62528,505 Female18,13520,54525,060 % Female 35.5%41.0%46.8% SourceHESA Resources of HEIs, series, table 14/9 1:31:2.41:2 26

27 UK academics - researchers 1995-62000-12005-6 Researchers Male20,91521,95018,760 Female12,64517,05516,135 % Female 37.7%43.7%46.2% SourceHESA Resources of HEIs, series, table 14/9 1:2.71:2.31:2.2 27

28 UK academics, % female 2007-8 Medicine, dentistry & health57.0% Education56.3% Humanities & language based studies & archaeology 49.5% Design, creative & performing arts43.8% Agriculture, forestry & veterinary science42.5% Administrative, business & social studies39.7% Biological, mathematical & physical sciences31.1% Architecture & planning29.2% Engineering & technology18.4% 28

29 UK medicine, dentistry & health academics, % female 2007-8 29

30 UK academics – employment function Teaching- only Research- only Teaching- and- research 1995-6Total12,88037,02575,070 % female39.9%37.0%27.7% 2000-1Total12,10043,48583,600 % female47.1%42.6%31.9% 2005-6 total41,48537,31083,250 % female50.0%45.7%36.2% 30

31 UK academics – terms of employment % Fixed- term2005-6 Teaching- only Research -only Teaching- and- research Female 57.9%85.3%14.2% Male 60.1%84.2%11.2% 31

32 Research assessment – T&R academics Research active in last RAE Not Research active in last RAE Research active in last RAE 1997-8 1996 RAE UnknownTotal1996 RAE Female8,2259,9704,25522,45036.6% Male30,71016,4056,87053,98056.9% Total38,93026,37511,12076,43050.9% 2001-2 2001 RAE Female13,33011,1853,07027,58548.3% Male36,08516,2653,99556,34564.0% Total49,41527,4507,06583,93058.9% 32

33 Gender & pay 2004 Framework agreement “... to ensure equal pay for work of equal value...” “Institutions will be encouraged to monitor and review the impact of the new arrangements by undertaking periodic equal pay audits, in line with the guidance issued by JNCHES in March 2002 [revised 2007]” 33

34 Equal Pay Reviews: Guidance for Higher Education Institutions (2007) “Both the employers’ and unions’ sides of JNCHES recommend that HE institutions carry out reviews... “ to “establish whether there are pay inequities... analyse in more detail the nature of any inequities analyse the factors creating inequities and diagnose the cause or causes determine what action is required...” 34

35 Gender & pay But progress on equal pay audits has been patchy at best... Has the Framework had any impact? The overall academic gender pay gap does not appear to have narrowed, although GP gaps at grade level are narrower 35

36 Gender & pay (ASHE): HE teachers AprilFemale (F)Male (M) F as % M GP gap ££ 199927,42733,699 81.4% 18.6% 200029,57834,787 85.0% 15.0% 200129,83835,964 83.0% 17.0% 200230,45537,839 80.5% 19.5% 200332,43639,348 82.4% 17.6% 200433,43839,882 83.8% 16.2% 200535,80443,707 81.9% 18.1% 200637,33344,138 84.6% 15.4% 200737,36545,857 81.5% 18.5% 200838,12846,474 82.0% 18.0% 200941,55649,060 84.7% 15.3% 36

37 Gender & pay 2007-8 UK academics 13.7% GP gaps by grade, UK academics: Professors 7.5% Senior lecturers & researchers 5.1% Lecturers 2.2% Researchers 5.7% Source: HESA staff record 2007-8 37

38 Quality of working life Women work shorter hours on average Women have a relatively similar level of stress compared with men, but... Tend to suffer more bullying and harassment Have less autonomy and flexibility Have more work ‘intensity’ However, they report better support and better networks 38

39 UCU 2008 occupational stress survey FemaleMale I am subject to bullying at workNever 46.1%53.0% I am subject to personal harassment at work Never 40.9%44.8% I have to work very intensivelyAlways 31.9%27.6% I have a say in my own work speedOften 33.9%38.9% I am unable to take sufficient breaksOften 26.3%21.4% “ “ “Seldom 23.2%30.1% I have to work very fastAlways 16.2%11.9% I have a choice in deciding what I do at work Often 33.9%38.3% 39

40 UCU 2008 occupational stress survey FemaleMale My colleagues are willing to listen to my work-related problems Agree 52.1%47.7% “ “ “Strongly agree 11.8%8.4% I am supported through emotionally demanding work Agree 20.3%15.5% I find my job stressfulStrongly agree 26.8%25.2% I get help and support I need from colleagues Strongly agree 13.2%9.9% My working time can be flexibleStrongly agree 14.2%17.8% “ “ “ Strongly disagree 8.2%5.7% 40

41 Conclusion Over time, as women progress up the career ladder, and with positive policies, the pay gap is likely to lessen. Although there are many policies about work-life balance, academic life can be demanding – especially in terms of research performance - and relatively un-family friendly. Employers may vary considerably in how far they are prepared to support work-life balance and be flexible. Does academics’ desire for autonomy work against the desire for a better work-life balance? 41

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