Discourse or reality

Discourse or reality Purpose The purpose of this paper is to examine the impact of flexible working arrangements FWAs and particularly reduced hours working arrangements on a Dual Agenda of gender equity and workplace effectiveness, in a case study organization employing a relatively high proportion of women scientists.Designmethodologyapproach Indepth interviews based on the initial stages of collaborative interactive action research CIAR are used within a casestudy approach. The interviews explored working practices, the assumptions underpinning them and their unintended consequences.Findings The main form of FWA used in the organization, four days a week, is double edged and complex in its effects. It supports mothers, but at a cost because of gendered assumptions. Despite a commitment to flexibility and worklife balance, the gendered construction of the ideal worker and ideas of competence conflated with hegemonic masculinity, remain powerful. This, together with a prevalent good mother ideology, undermines both gender equity and workplace effectiveness.Practical implications This paper is of value to both researchers and policy makers. It shows that highly developed worklife balance or flexible working polices are not sufficient to enhance gender equity and points to the importance of surfacing and challenging gender assumptions in science, engineering and technology. It emphasizes the need to move forward from policy to practice.Originalityvalue This paper contributes to a growing body of work using initial stages of the CIAR methodology and showcases the theoretical insights gained by such an approach. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International Journal Emerald Publishing

Loading next page...
 
/lp/emerald-publishing/discourse-or-reality-d4T1pfz5AB
Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © Emerald Group Publishing Limited
ISSN
2040-7149
DOI
10.1108/02610151011028840
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose The purpose of this paper is to examine the impact of flexible working arrangements FWAs and particularly reduced hours working arrangements on a Dual Agenda of gender equity and workplace effectiveness, in a case study organization employing a relatively high proportion of women scientists.Designmethodologyapproach Indepth interviews based on the initial stages of collaborative interactive action research CIAR are used within a casestudy approach. The interviews explored working practices, the assumptions underpinning them and their unintended consequences.Findings The main form of FWA used in the organization, four days a week, is double edged and complex in its effects. It supports mothers, but at a cost because of gendered assumptions. Despite a commitment to flexibility and worklife balance, the gendered construction of the ideal worker and ideas of competence conflated with hegemonic masculinity, remain powerful. This, together with a prevalent good mother ideology, undermines both gender equity and workplace effectiveness.Practical implications This paper is of value to both researchers and policy makers. It shows that highly developed worklife balance or flexible working polices are not sufficient to enhance gender equity and points to the importance of surfacing and challenging gender assumptions in science, engineering and technology. It emphasizes the need to move forward from policy to practice.Originalityvalue This paper contributes to a growing body of work using initial stages of the CIAR methodology and showcases the theoretical insights gained by such an approach.

Journal

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International JournalEmerald Publishing

Published: Mar 26, 2010

Keywords: Gender; Organizations; Flexible working hours; Women; Scientists; France

References

  • Reflexive fathers: negotiating parental leave and working life
    Brandth, B.; Kvande, E.
  • Equal opportunities: the short and long agenda
    Cockburn, C.

You’re reading a free preview. Subscribe to read the entire article.


DeepDyve is your
personal research library

It’s your single place to instantly
discover and read the research
that matters to you.

Enjoy affordable access to
over 18 million articles from more than
15,000 peer-reviewed journals.

All for just $49/month

Explore the DeepDyve Library

Search

Query the DeepDyve database, plus search all of PubMed and Google Scholar seamlessly

Organize

Save any article or search result from DeepDyve, PubMed, and Google Scholar... all in one place.

Access

Get unlimited, online access to over 18 million full-text articles from more than 15,000 scientific journals.

Your journals are on DeepDyve

Read from thousands of the leading scholarly journals from SpringerNature, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford University Press and more.

All the latest content is available, no embargo periods.

See the journals in your area

DeepDyve

Freelancer

DeepDyve

Pro

Price

FREE

$49/month
$360/year

Save searches from
Google Scholar,
PubMed

Create folders to
organize your research

Export folders, citations

Read DeepDyve articles

Abstract access only

Unlimited access to over
18 million full-text articles

Print

20 pages / month