Flexible Working and the Gender Pay Gap in the Accountancy Profession

The University of Manchester, Manchester, England, United Kingdom
Work Employment & Society (Impact Factor: 1.24). 03/2004; 18(1):115-135.. DOI: 10.1177/0950017004040765


The relationship between flexible working arrangements and the gender pay gap
is explored in this article, based on a study of flexible working arrangements
among Chartered Accountants in Britain. Individual interviews with 50 participants
provided details on working patterns, flexibility policies and practices, and experiences
of flexible working.The article considers whether gender-neutral discourses
of flexible working succeed in encouraging more men and non-parents to use
flexible working arrangements, thereby potentially reducing the gender pay gap.
The study highlighted gendered patterns of take-up of flexible working.Women
who worked flexibly or part time typically did so to combine working with caring
commitments, in ways that damaged their career prospects. In contrast, men typically
deferred working flexibly to a later stage when their career had progressed
further. There was therefore a clear impact on current and future salary for
women taking up flexible working arrangements, which was not equivalent for the
men who did so. In this context, the promotion of flexible working arrangements
is reinforcing the gender pay gap.

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Available from: Janet Smithson, Oct 01, 2015
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    • "Mothers tend to arrange their schedules around caring, while fathers conform more closely to the standard workday. Moreover, women tend to have their careers damaged (Smithson et al., 2004). The flexibility offered by non-standard working hours does not help parents balance work and care more equally (Craig and Powell, 2011). "
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    ABSTRACT: Research on work-family balance has seen flexible work arrangements as a key solution for reconciling work and family, but it has given contradictory results in regard to fathers. This article focuses on flexible parental leave for fathers in Norway, which until now has rarely been studied. Based on interviews with 20 fathers, the article explores their experiences with flexible organization of the leave, which provides them with a menu of choices, and considers how it affects their caring. Findings show that it allows work to invade care, produces a double stress and promotes halfway fathering. Flexible use of the father's quota tends to confirm fathers as secondary carers instead of empowering them as carers.
    Work Employment & Society 07/2015; DOI:10.1177/0950017015590749 · 1.24 Impact Factor
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    • "The resulting data has been subject to thematic analysis in order to identify recurring themes which emerge from the data itself. This is similar to approaches adopted in previous qualitative studies of the working lives of professionals (Smithson et al., 2004). "
    AIRAANZ, Athens, Greece; 06/2013
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    • "As a result both part-time work and time out of the labour market affect current and lifetime earnings (Meurs et al., 2010). Women's concentration in non-standard jobs further reduces pay and weakens career prospects (Smithson et al., 2004); while innovations such as individualized pay systems reduce transparency and may disadvantage women (Huffman, 2004). Recent advances in the methodology of assessing the gender pay gap have underlined the persistent pay disparity between women and men, on average 16 percent across the EU in 2010 (Table 1). "
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    ABSTRACT: There has been more than 30 years of equal pay legislation in the European Union yet the gap between male and female earnings has remained remarkably resilient and is present across all Member States, regardless of national institutional arrangements. The European regulatory landscape has changed to one relying heavily on soft law approaches and with more limited ambitions in the field of gender equality than at the creation of the European Employment Strategy in 1997. In this environment the European Commission has placed greater emphasis on the role of social partners in addressing the gender pay gap. This article critically reviews the role of social partners in addressing these pay inequalities.
    European Journal of Industrial Relations 12/2012; 18(4):365-380. DOI:10.1177/0959680112465931 · 0.80 Impact Factor
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