Work-to-family enrichment and gender inequalities in eight European countries

Beham, Barbara, Drobnič, Sonja, Präg, Patrick, Baierl, Andreas and Lewis, Suzan ORCID logoORCID: (2020) Work-to-family enrichment and gender inequalities in eight European countries. The International Journal of Human Resource Management, 31 (5) . pp. 589-610. ISSN 0958-5192 [Article] (doi:10.1080/09585192.2017.1355837)

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All social roles have positive and rewarding as well as negative/problematic aspects. Research on the work–family interface has predominantly focused on conflicting roles. In contrast, this paper extends research on work–family enrichment (WFE), a positive aspect of work and gender differences in WFE in a cross-national context. Drawing upon social role theory and the culture sensitive theory on work–family enrichment, we examined gender differences in experiences of developmental WFE in a sample of service sector employees in eight European countries. In line with traditional gender roles, women reported more WFE than men. The relationship was moderated by both an objective and subjective measure of gender egalitarianism but in the opposite direction as hypothesized. The gender gap in WFE was larger in more gender-egalitarian countries, where women may be better able to transfer resources from the work domain to benefit their family role than in low egalitarian societies. National differences in labour market factors, family models and the public discourse on work–life balance mainly explain the unanticipated findings.

Item Type: Article
Research Areas: A. > Business School > Leadership, Work and Organisations > Diversity and Gender group
Item ID: 22449
Notes on copyright: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in International Journal of Human Resource Management on 24/07/2017, available online:
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Depositing User: Suzan Lewis
Date Deposited: 07 Sep 2017 14:10
Last Modified: 29 Nov 2022 18:33

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