PRESS RELEASE [for immediate release]
Why ‘leaning in’ is not enough
Flexible work arrangements can transform how professional women combine a fulfilling career with motherhood. But the options are limited, particularly at the higher levels. This needs to change for the benefit of women, families and organisations.
A new book by Dr Zoe Young (Half the Sky), is the first to go inside women’s work and family lives in a year of working flexibly. Women’s Work: How mothers manage flexible working in careers and family life, is published by Bristol University Press on 12 September.
Young’s pioneering research at the University of Sussex followed a year in the lives of 30 mothers of infants through to teenagers, working in a range of UK industries – law, banking and finance, consulting, technology, health, and public service.
All 30 women were managers or held professional jobs at that pivotal level in large organisations when men start to outnumber women, and women disappear from the pipeline to the top jobs.
Drawing on over 100 hours of interviews, Young reveals the complex hidden lives of working women and the lengths they go to so they can maintain a career alongside motherhood.
Across 30 deeply personal stories, Young identified three common themes:
“We need to demand more from our employers I think. It is not enough for them just to say yes or no to flexibility, managing how it is done is just as important” Olivia, management consultant, 90% contract, works from home on Fridays (occasionally), 2 children aged 2 and 4
Young proposes five actions for policy makers, employers and within the family which are essential to remove the barriers and fulfil the potential of flexible work arrangements for gender equality in careers and family life:
F L I P T H E DE FA U LT
Notes for editors
1. Women’s Work: How mothers manage flexible working in careers and family life will be published by Policy Press on 12 September 2018, price £24.99.
2. Zoe Young is available for interview. For further information and review copies, please contact Kathryn King, Policy Press, on +44 (0) 117 954 5952, or at Kathryn.King@bristol.ac.uk.
3. Case studies from the research are available on request.
4. Bristol University Press strives to publish world-class scholarship that questions the status quo, disrupts current thinking and reframes ideas in a global context.