Whether or not women have children has profound consequences for their employment experiences. Employers may see women with no children as conforming more closely than women with children (and yet not as closely as male employees) to the pervasive ‘ideal worker’ stereotype of a full-time, committed worker with no external responsibilities. However, managers and co-workers may also perceive women with no children as deviating from prevailing pronatalist norms in Australian and other comparable societies, which construct and value women as mothers and stigmatise and devalue women with no children. Accordingly, women with no children may be rewarded or penalised in different employment contexts at different times according to the degree to which they conform to or deviate from the most salient characteristics associated with the ideal worker and mothering femininity. This chapter explores patriarchal and capitalist configurations of femininities, masculinities and workers as drivers of employment experiences among women with no children. It then discusses empirical research from Australia and comparable countries, in order to elucidate the diversity of employment experiences among women with no children.
Turnbull, B., Graham, M. and Taket, A. (2018), "Understanding the Employment Experiences of Women with No Children", Sappleton, N. (Ed.) Voluntary and Involuntary Childlessness (Emerald Studies in Reproduction, Culture and Society), Emerald Publishing Limited, pp. 261-281. https://doi.org/10.1108/978-1-78754-361-420181012Download as .RIS
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