Work-life balance and women’s careers in UK higher education. Stephen Court UCU senior research officer 1 February 2010. A definition.
Work-life balance and women’s careers in UK higher education
UCU senior research officer
1 February 2010
By 2010, one in five UK workers will be mothers; 25% of all families will be single parent families; up to 10 million people will be caring for elderly relatives; there will be one million fewer workers under 50 and three million more over 50 by 2022.
‘The University [of Surrey] recognises that flexibility in employment enables benefits for both staff and the business:
2004 Framework agreement
“ ... to ensure equal pay for work of equal value ...”
“Institutions will be encouraged to monitor and review the impact of the new arrangements by undertaking periodic equal pay audits, in line with the guidance issued by JNCHES in March 2002 [revised 2007]”
“Both the employers’ and unions’ sides of JNCHES recommend that HE institutions carry out reviews ... “ to
But progress on equal pay audits has been patchy at best ...
Has the Framework had any impact?
The overall academic gender pay gap does not appear to have narrowed, although GP gaps at grade level are narrower
UK academics 13.7%
GP gaps by grade, UK academics:
Source: HESA staff record 2007-8
However, they report better support and better networks
Over time, as women progress up the career ladder, and with positive policies, the pay gap is likely to lessen.
Although there are many policies about work-life balance, academic life can be demanding – especially in terms of research performance - and relatively un-family friendly.
Employers may vary considerably in how far they are prepared to support work-life balance and be flexible.
Does academics’ desire for autonomy work against the desire for a better work-life balance?