Shapiro, M., Ingols, C., Blake-Beard, S., & O'Neill, R.
People & Strategy, 32 (3)
Magazine Article
Area of focus: 
Flexible Working

This article from a human resource management journal examines women's career goals, and their motivations for using flexible working arrangements. The paper describes the rift between the "work is primary" model with an emerging "career self-agency" model, where workers enjoy greater freedom in managing working arrangements. Women are argued to be at the fore of this movement because of the conflicting demands of their private and professional lives.

Results of a survey of female business leaders are reported, finding a variety of competing goals and motivations; where flexible work arrangements were used by women respondents they were most often those supporting full time work from home or outside of traditional hours, rather than part-time arrangements.

The authors discuss companies' cultures as being either "assimilating", "accommodating" or "transforming". Examples are presented of transforming cultures, and advice and examples are provided of actions and changes that can be made at the job design, recruitment, training and development, compensation and retention stages.