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Title: Equality and diversity : the gender dimensions of work-life balance policies
Author: Ben-Galim, Dalia
ISNI:       0000 0000 5903 9517
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2008
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This thesis analyses the gender dimensions of work-life balance policies in the UK. It focuses on three related questions: firstly, to what extent are work-life balance policies framed by 'diversity'; secondly, how does this impact on the conceptualisation and implementation of work-life balance policies (in government and in organisations); and thirdly, what are the implications for gender equality? Through analysing published research, the UK Government's work-life balance agenda and data generated from three selected case study organisations, the prominent dimensions of diversity that shape the conceptualisation and implementation of work-life balance policies are presented. This thesis argues that the concept of diversity - as defined by the feminist literature - offers the potential to progress gender equality through overcoming the same-difference dichotomy, and by recognising multiple aspects of identity. However, this theoretical potential is not necessarily reflected in practice. With the emphasis on the individual worker and choice, diversity has been primarily defined as 'managing diversity', and has a significant affect on how work-life balance policies have been applied in both government policy and organisational practice. The UK Government states that work-life balance policies are meant to provide everyone with opportunities to balance work with other aspects of life. The current policy framework targets parents and in particular mothers, potentially limiting the choices that men and women have to 'work' and 'care'. Locating work-life balance policies within the context of 'managing diversity' supports and facilitates women's employment, but does not necessarily challenge fundamental gender disparities such as occupational segregation and gender pay gaps. Analysis of the UK Government's current agenda and organisational case studies show that despite progressive equality, diversity and worklife balance agendas, work-life balance policies are limited in challenging persistent structural gender inequalities.
Supervisor: Bennett, Fran Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Discrimination in employment ; Law and legislation ; Diversity in the workplace ; Government policy ; Labor laws and legislation ; Personnel management ; Quality of work life ; Sociological aspects ; Sex differences ; Great Britain