Table of Contents

Women and Employment

Women and Employment

Changing Lives and New Challenges

Edited by Jacqueline Scott, Shirley Dex and Heather Joshi

How is women’s employment shaped by family and domestic responsibilities? This book, written by leading experts in the field, examines twenty-five years of change in women’s employment and addresses the challenges facing women today.

Introduction: Changing Lives and New Challenges

Jacqueline Scott, Shirley Dex, Heather Joshi, Peter Elias and Kate Purcell

Subjects: business and management, diversity and management, development studies, family and gender policy, social policy and sociology, comparative social policy, economics of social policy, family and gender policy, labour policy


Jacqueline Scott, Shirley Dex, Heather Joshi, Kate Purcell and Peter Elias There have been enormous changes in women’s lives in the UK in the past 25 years. The proportion of women in the labour market has grown markedly; the pay gap has narrowed; notions that a woman’s place is in the home have eroded further; women have overtaken men in numbers pursuing higher education; and women have made inroads into some previously male-dominated employment sectors. In other areas, earlier inequalities have proved very resistant to change, with women continuing to be more likely than men to reap adverse job-related penalties associated with childrearing and family care; conditions of part-time work continue to enhance gender inequality; and work–family or work–life balance remains very different for men and women. In this book we examine different aspects of women and employment, and discuss how labour market experiences have not only changed the lives of women and their families, but also brought new challenges. These not only differ for women and men but also differ across the life course. Even before adulthood, young girls and boys have very different expectations and aspirations concerning their work and family lives. In the post-retirement phase, the gendered consequences of inequalities in the workplace are visible in terms of the dramatically lower pension entitlements of women who have taken ‘time out’ of paid work for child-raising and family care. The challenges also affect institutions. For example, employers are struggling to...