A Research Companion
Edited by Mustafa F. Özbiligin
Chapter 3: Cultural Conflicts and Commonalities: Researching Work–Life Balance for Women University Staff in the UK and Japan
3. Cultural conflicts and commonalities: researching work– life balance for women university staff in the UK and Japan Diana Woodward* INTRODUCTION Two events of considerable personal significance will happen towards the end of this year, 2008, in which I am writing this piece. One of them is my imminent retirement from university employment. My working life, and much of my social life, has been spent in the world of higher education since escaping from the constraints of rural life at the age of 17 to go away to university. The other major event will be the demise of the Through the Glass Ceiling Network of women in higher education management, an organisation with which I have been closely involved since its formation. Now, in its 18th year, the network will simultaneously come of age and become defunct. In its early years it provided peer support and access to expert knowledge for the first generation of women to reach university management positions in any number. At the time of its formation in 1990 very few women had ever headed a large UK higher education institution, and many of the first few female Deans and heads of department appointed felt isolated and in need of peer support (Glasner, 2005). However, in recent times the organisation has struggled to recruit and retain enough members to warrant employing professional administrators. Given the intensification of managerial roles in higher education, even committed members have been finding it ever harder to make the time to participate...
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