Chapter 3 outlines the three themes that framed the research: the meaning, centrality and role of paid work; career management and development; and barriers to remaining in or entering the labour market. It describes the methodological approach taken in a large mixed methods project: a quantitative survey of older women, follow-up qualitative interviews with a subset of these women, and qualitative interviews with human resource managers and stakeholders. This chapter also describes the characteristics of the women who participated in the survey and introduces the women by means of a small number of vignettes.
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