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Juggling work and family: Work life conflict across four European countries Jacqueline Scott and Anke Plagnol Gender Inequalities in the 21st Century 26-27.

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Presentation on theme: "Juggling work and family: Work life conflict across four European countries Jacqueline Scott and Anke Plagnol Gender Inequalities in the 21st Century 26-27."— Presentation transcript:

1 Juggling work and family: Work life conflict across four European countries Jacqueline Scott and Anke Plagnol Gender Inequalities in the 21st Century 26-27 March 2009, Queens College, Cambridge Department of Sociology

2 Gender equality on the slide ISSP data of gender role attitudes contradict myth that societies attitudes are becoming increasingly egalitarian In some countries (e.g. UK and USA) there is increasing concern about how womens employment conflicts with family wellbeing Story one of attitudes supporting mothers work, but then retreat… ** GeNet book on Women and Employment

3 Back to the Kitchen Sink Third of working mums are quitting their full time jobs for part time work or giving up altogether. Young children whose parents work full time, may perform less well at school.

4 Policy debate about Mums work and fertility Mothers employment helps support families but is it also undermining family formation? What is the pattern across Europe in family formation and working mums? European Social Survey data make clear that nations differ markedly and working is less likely to conflict with family formation where childcare widely available But this unlikely to explain why countries like Ireland and France have high fertility and low work while others like Germany have low fertility and more working mothers. With UK somewhere in between….

5 Fertility rate versus working mothers

6 Data: European Social Survey (ESS) Attitudes, values, beliefs – behaviour Bi-annual 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010 Small sample; effective size 1500 Central co-ordination National implementation Core and rotating modules 2004 & 2010 Module on family, work & wellbeing

7 Data Five measures of Work Life Conflict (WLC) 1.How often do you keep worrying about work problems when you are not working? 2.How often do you feel too tired after work to enjoy the things you would like to do at home? 3.How often do you find that your job prevents you from giving the time you want to your partner or family? 4.How often do you find that your partner or family gets fed up with the pressure of your job? 5.How often do you find it difficult to concentrate on work because of your family responsibilities? (Never, hardly ever, sometimes, often, always)

8 Data Our sample includes Respondents who are employed and in partnerships Prime working ages: 18-65 Four countries with different female employment and fertility patterns Percentage of the women in our sample who are employed FT or PT: part-timefull-time Germany32.9267.08 France18.9581.05 United Kingdom41.4658.54 Ireland43.1656.84

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10 Do measures of WLC matter? Measures of WLC are correlated with other indicators of well-being Significant negative correlation with satisfaction (-0.1343) and happiness (-0.1171) Significant negative correlation with subjective health (-0.0854)

11 Does WLC only depend on work hours?

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14 OLS regressions (4 countries), dependent variable WLC w/o hoursWith hours Dual careerref Alt commitment-0.519***ns Male breadwinner-0.521***-0.292* Female breadwinner0.0620.491** Female-0.759***-0.173 Traditional valuesns Child under 12 in hh0.323***0.326*** Log work hours1.708*** r20.04450.1306 N2457

15 Is this a matter of unpaid work strategies? Men in male breadwinner model couples may be less pressured by their partners to contribute to unpaid work and family life Measures of unpaid work arrangements: Who does most of the housework on a typical weekday? 1. Both partners equally 2. Mostly the woman 3. Mostly the man 4. Outside help

16 Unpaid work strategies Even in female breadwinner couples, the majority of housework is done by the woman (all four countries) Unpaid work Paid workBalanced Mostly female Mostly male Outside help Dual career16.471.757.923.93 Alternate commitments9.8482.384.353.43 Male breadwinner4.9388.363.982.73 Female breadwinner11.8658.3225.234.6

17 Unpaid work Unpaid work hour arrangements do not seem to matter much for work life conflict Having outside help is weakly associated with lower WLC Problem with how unpaid work is measured: subjective evaluations

18 What comes next? Examine how institutional variations across countries e.g. childcare affects work-life conflict, family formation and couple work strategies Lobby ESS to improve work-life balance measures (e.g. stop paid work myopia) especially given that the Gallie module is being repeated in order to take advantage of the opportunity of examining how experiences change with the impact of the recession. Try to get handle on way womens employment, family formation and work-life conflict link at individual level (e.g. using UK and German household panel data)

19 Thank you Questions?


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