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Lewis, Suzan
Languages: English
Types: Unknown
“Work-life balance” has become a hot topic in recent years in many parts of the world. The topic of work-life balance is not new, but reflects research and debates dating back to the 1960s on how women and men can combine work and family in gender equitable ways (Rapoport and Rapoport, 1965). It could be argued that women have come a long way since then: dual earner families are increasingly the norm across the industrialised world, and most countries have policies on equal opportunities for men and women, maternity and parental leave and other related policies. Yet most women continue to retain the major responsibilities for family care, and to be underrepresented at the highest levels in workplaces. Women have made great strides forwards, but things will not change further for women until men can be enabled to change too. \ud Men, women and families can all benefit from gender equitable work-life balance- that is time to spend with family and opportunities to progress in careers. Moreover, there is mounting evidence that businesses can benefit too from implementing changes that simultaneously take account of the work life needs of men and women employees and the needs of the organisation (Rapoport, Bailyn, Fletcher and Pruitt, 2002) However, there are currently many constraints and barriers to gender equitable ways of combining work and family. In this paper I discuss some of these barriers and the changes that are needed at various levels of society to enable more men as well as women to harmonise work and family. I will conclude with some examples of workplace changes designed to include men.
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    • Brandth, B. and Kvande, E. (2001) „Flexible work and flexible fathers‟ in Work, Employment and Society, 15 (2) 251-267.
    • Crompton, R., Lewis, S and Lyonette, C (eds) (2007) Women, Men, Work and Family in Europe. Palgrave Daly, K., Ashbourne, L and Hawkins, L ( 2008 ) Work-Life Issues for Fathers in Korabik, K, Lero, D, Whitehead,D. (Eds.) (2008) Handbook of work-family integration: Academic Press Gambles, R, Lewis, S. and Rapoport, R (2006). The Myth of Work-Life Balance. The Challenge of our Time. Men, Women, and Societies: London: Wiley Goodman, W , Crouter, A. Lanza,S and Cox, M (2008) Paternal Work Characteristics and Father-Infant Interactions in Low-Income, Rural Families Journal of Marriage and Family 70, 3, 640 - 65 Haas, Linda, and Philip Hwang. 2007. Gender and organizational culture. Correlates of companies‟ responsiveness to fathers in Sweden. Gender & Society 21 (1): 52-7 Lewis, J and Campbell, M (2007) UK Work/Family Balance Policies and Gender Equality, 1997-2005 Journal of Social Policy 36 : 365-381
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