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An exploration of the perceived benefits of flexible work patterns on women and their continued participation in the Irish workplace

Byrne, Susan (2018) An exploration of the perceived benefits of flexible work patterns on women and their continued participation in the Irish workplace. Masters thesis, Dublin, National College of Ireland.

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Abstract

In a highly competitive business environment the retention of highly skilled workers is an imperative for organisations and the wider Irish economy. Women in particular are a valuable skillset and retaining this cohort of workers once they become mothers is an ongoing battle as participation rates across Europe between males and females are still wide.

The purpose of this research is to explore the perceived benefits flexible working arrangements can bring to working mothers and whether this can positively impact on participation rates in the Irish workforce.

Using qualitative methods of gathering data through semi-structured interviews, this research analysed the responses from professional working mothers currently employed in the Irish workforce. The ability for these working mothers to have autonomy and control over their work patterns and schedules has provided freedom to continue working at a high level within their organisations. The age and number of their children brought challenges in relation to their existing work patterns and the use of flexibility within their work schedule reduced this conflict between home and work. There was little evidence of occupation downgrading among the participants, this again was due in part to informal flexibility afforded to them as a result of their current positions. Gender stereotyping was apparent in relation to their dual roles and the conflict this creates between being a mother and a worker, however flexible working was found to contribute positively to easing this burden among the participants.

The research answered the question in that flexible working arrangements do benefit some working mothers. Further research would be required to understand how this would benefit the wider population of working mothers, for instances those in low paid positions, or low social capital or indeed working mothers with limited support networks such as single mothers.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management > Human Resource Management > Employee Retention
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management > Human Resource Management
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > Issues of Labour and Work > Classes of Labour > Women and Work
Divisions: School of Business > Master of Business Administration
Depositing User: CAOIMHE NI MHAICIN
Date Deposited: 30 Oct 2018 10:22
Last Modified: 30 Oct 2018 10:22
URI: http://trap.ncirl.ie/id/eprint/3344

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