Changing Lives and New Challenges
Edited by Jacqueline Scott, Shirley Dex and Heather Joshi
Introduction: Changing Lives and New Challenges
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...