Work-life Balance: Experiences of Women in the Australian Construction Industry

International Employment Relations Association
Publication Type:
Journal Article
International Employment Relations Review, 2006, 12 (2), pp. 67 - 77
Issue Date:
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Considerable changes in Australian lifestyles and the relationship between work and family life over recent decades have lead to the progressive entry of women into the workforce. Their increased numbers in the workplace have led many women to have a stronger voice to demand benefits to help them balance their work and life responsibilities. The accompanying shifts in the traditional roles of men and women have raised new issues for employers. In an effort to meet the changing needs of todayâs workforce, many organisations now implement work-family or work-life programs. While women in the workforce face various barriers the primary focus of this paper is on the conflicting demands of career and family life for women in male dominated industry of construction. The paper will draw on exploratory research to examine the career barriers faced by women in the Australian construction industry and compare them to those identified in the literature by women in the British construction industry (eg Fielden, Davidson, Gale and Davey 2001; Gale 1994). The paper puts forward Australian results that support the research findings in Britain that claim that despite lack of work-family or work-life programs women who choose to work within the industry are highly satisfied with their choice.
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