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Occupations, class and work-family balance Rosemary Crompton and Clare Lyonette City University, London Celebrating the 25 th Anniversary of the Women.

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Presentation on theme: "Occupations, class and work-family balance Rosemary Crompton and Clare Lyonette City University, London Celebrating the 25 th Anniversary of the Women."— Presentation transcript:

1 Occupations, class and work-family balance Rosemary Crompton and Clare Lyonette City University, London Celebrating the 25 th Anniversary of the Women and Employment Survey: DTI December 2005

2 Changes since WES… Continuing increase in womens qualification levels (women now 30% of managers, and 40% of professionals) Increase in the employment of mothers of young children (57% of mothers with child under 5 in employment in 2001) (Irene, born Children aged 5 and 3 at the time of the Women and Employment Survey): Then it was just what you did. They didn't seem to work a lot like they do now… When I had mine it wasn't the thing. You left work and that was it… (I used to go fruit-picking in the summer because you could take them with you into the fields).

3 Variations in extent of mothers employment by class and education… Couple mothers and lone parents educated to degree level, 81% in employment. Mothers with no qualifications, only 44% of couple mothers, and 29% of lone parents, in employment. Couple households (BHPS data): 52% professional and managerial, both adults work full-time, as compared to only 23% of unskilled manual households 43% unskilled manual households man full-time, woman part-time, only 26% of professional/managerial households these patterns of couples employment will reproduce and even deepen material inequalities between households

4 Table 1: Employment status of mothers with child(ren) under 11 by occupational status³ (%) ISSP data. Professional and managerial Non- manual Routine and manual Total n (%) Full- time 43.2%23.4%15.3%71 (27.6%) Part- time 29.5%51.6%41.8%102 (39.7%) Stays home 27.4%25.0%42.9%84 (32.7%) Total n (%) 95 (100%) 64 (100%) 98 (100%) 257 (100%) ³Here we use the 3-category version of the ONS-SEC

5 Table 2: Reported household income per annum by occupational status in households with child(ren) under 11 (those respondents in employment only, men and women) Prof/mgrNon- manual Routine/ manual Total n (%) Up to £ %21.2%24.3%47 (14.0%) £ £ %8.2%21.6%35 (10.5%) £ £ %23.5%12.7%41 (12.3%) £ £ %35.3%30.4%117 (35.0%) £35000 and up 49.7%11.8% 95 (28.4%) Total147 (100%)85 (100%)102(100%)334 (100%)

6 Work-family balance Any sensible approach to work-life policies cannot ignore the …phenomenon of occupational class in the amount of access and take-up of work-life balance entitlements. Women in managerial and professional jobs with higher incomes and benefits are in a much better position to achieve a balance than their much lower-paid and insecure counterparts employed, for example, in the retail trade and textiles (Taylor 2002b: 18).

7 Work-life conflict scale: four items (higher scores = higher work-life stress) I have come home from work too tired to do the chores which need to be done. It has been difficult for me to fulfil my family responsibilities because of the amount of time I spent on my job I have arrived at work too tired to function well because of the household work I had done I have found it difficult to concentrate at work because of my family responsibilities Cronbachs alpha.73

8 Table 3: Work-life conflict by sex and occupational class (those respondents in employment only, men and women) Sex:Occupational class:NMeanS.D. MaleProfessional/mgr Non-manual Manual Total FemaleProfessional/mgr Non-manual Manual Total AllProfessional/mgr *2.27 Non-manual Manual Total

9 Managerial and professional women feel unable to use employer policies… Peggy (bank manager with 2 children): I keep getting told that Id be selling myself short if I went part-time. The bank does have flexible hours but the higher up you go youre not encouraged to take advantage of it Flora (bank manager with 2 children): I think the higher up in the bank you go, though, it just gets harder for the bank to be family friendly. They've still got the same policies there and I can still take advantage of the same policies that everyone else has, but it's harder for me to do that. It's a lot easier when you first join. (Crompton et al 2003b).

10 Table 4: Promotion aspirations by class and sex (those respondents in employment only, men and women) Sex:How important it is for you to move up the job ladder? Prof/ mgr Non- manual Routine/ manual Total n (%) MaleVery / fairly important64.4%31.4%45.0%302 (53.5%) Not very / not at all35.6%68.6%55.0%262 (46.5%) Total n (%)284 (100%) 51 (100%) 229 (100%) 564 (100%) FemaleVery / fairly important45.7%22.6%21.1%200 (32.7%) Not very / not at all54.3%77.4%78.9%412 (67.3%) Total n (%)280 (100%) 133 (100%) 199 (100%) 612 (100%)

11 Attitudes and behaviour: the AWE (Attitudes to Womens Employment) scale

12 Table 5: Class, attitudes to womens employment and mothers employment behaviour (women with child(ren) under 18 in household only); BSA/ISSP 2002 Prof/mgrNon-manualRoutine/manualTotal (% in class) Mean AWE (% in class) Mean AWE (% in class) Mean AWE (% of all) Mean AWE Worked FT 35.3% % % %9.91 Worked PT 43.4% % % %11.62 Stayed home 21.3% % % %13.86 Total n (%) 136 (100%) (3.74) 76 (100%) (3.97) 122 (100%) (3.89) 334 (100%) (3.95) Q: Did you work when child was under school age?

13 Implications of class-differentiated patterns in mothers employment behaviour and preferences Do these outcomes reflect the preferences of different types of women, as – eg – Hakim would argue? But if these preferences are class- differentiated, dangers of endorsing culture of deprivation – type arguments and explanations (eg recent debate re underclass). Why do individuals in intermediate/routine and manual jobs place a greater emphasis on family life and maternal care for children?

14 Class differences in emphasis on employment, family and maternal care: Only 21% of higher professional and managerial employees thought of job as just a means to earn a living, as compared to 58% skilled manual, and 54% semi/unskilled manual employees (Working in Britain survey). Qualitative evidence: …a more limited scope for strategic employment decisions (amongst poorly-qualified working-class women) is consistent with holding moral commitments which lie for much longer with the exclusive care of children (Irwin). …nether the development nor the enactment of particular lifestyle preferences is random. Women with different earning capacities demonstrate strongly differing beliefs about mothers and mothering. The ability to overcome constraints is patterned by social structure/class whether manifested through differing qualifications, social networks, or income (McRae).

15 What are the implications of preferences? Class differences in attitudes and behaviour amongst women – an example of adaptive preferences amongst Intermediate and Routine and manual women? Men are more traditional than women in respect of attitudes to gender roles, family, and mothers employment. Do men still wish to retain their patriarchal dividend?

16 Conclusions Better educated women/mothers, in the higher occupational classes, are more likely to be in employment. This pattern will serve to deepen class inequalities. Managerial and professional women report higher levels of work-life conflict. Women in lower occupational groupings are more family oriented and have a stronger preference for maternal care. Does this explain class-differentiated behaviours? Dangers in accepting this explanation – individualist explanations justify continuing inequalities.

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