Morgan Centre seminar: “Well, it’ll be quite a worksite” - Young women’s expectations of and solutions towards work-family reconciliation
|Dates:||3 April 2019|
|Times:||02:30 - 15:15|
|What is it:||Seminar|
|Organiser:||School of Social Sciences|
Speaker: Outi Alakärppä, visiting PhD student, Department of Education, University of Jyväskylä, Finland
Work intensification, uncertainty about getting a job and non-standard working hours have become more common for young people in Finland. At the same time, young people are delaying parenthood, which means that they are more likely to have to juggle the demands of family at a time when they are experiencing entry into a precarious job market. This has the potential to increase work-family conflict. However, little is known about how young women foresee their future work-family reconciliation, what barriers they believe they may face, the solutions they propose and how these expectations and solutions are shaped by different social, economic and cultural factors.
In this presentation, I focus on the preliminary findings of my second PhD article. The aim is to explore the expectations and solutions young childless women (aged 18-27 years old) in Finland have around work-family reconciliation, and how these expectations and solutions are shaped by various social and cultural constraints.
Thirty semi-structured interviews and three focus groups were conducted. The time line method was applied in the individual interviews, and vignettes were used to stimulate focus group interviews. The participants included students, employed and unemployed women from various educational backgrounds.
Nearly all the young women expected there to be challenges to their future work-family reconciliation. All the young women prioritised education and a commitment to their future working life but it was unemployed women in particular who were most uncertain about their work and career choices, coping with work demands and getting a job. The more highly educated women expressed concerns about gender inequalities in later working life. Expectations about motherhood were generally positive, but motherhood was also foreseen to be demanding: Family life with children was linked to challenges particularly in regard to wellbeing, use of time and economic security. Shared parenthood and part-time work were seen as solutions for successful work-family reconciliation by all women while flexible working hours and the promotion of gender equality by employers were seen as reasonable solutions only by some - mainly more highly educated women. Some felt that long periods of family leave were desirable for women only.
Travel and Contact Information
G.16 (1st floor)
Arthur Lewis Building