Job design and working hours: key sources of gender inequality

Linda Grant

in Policy for a change

Published by Policy Press

Published in print November 2008 | ISBN: 9781847420541
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447302988 | DOI:
Job design and working hours: key sources of gender inequality

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This chapter examines the formal approaches to job design and more informal workplace decisions, processes, and practices relating to the structure and content of part-time jobs. These factors increase the tendency for women to experience economic disadvantage and poor-quality working lives, and play an important role in sustaining and reinforcing gender inequalities in employment. The chapter then explains the reasons why, in many workplaces, employers approach the design of part-time jobs in a distinct way. There are a number of features of part-time jobs that contribute to their poor quality. The design of part-time jobs and their location in workplace hierarchies are outcomes of a range of formal and informal management decisions and practices. Low pay, limited opportunities for training and promotion, restriction of tasks, limited responsibility, independence and autonomy, and the lack of flexibility in working hours all highlight the poor quality of part-time jobs.

Keywords: job design; working hours; gender inequalities; employment; part-time jobs; workplaces

Chapter.  8219 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Gender and Sexuality

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