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Work–life balance: how can we help women IT professionals in Morocco?

Salma Semlali (Dell, IT Consulting Services, Casablanca, Morocco)
Abderrahman Hassi (Al Akhawayn University, Ifrane, Morocco)

Journal of Global Responsibility

ISSN: 2041-2568

Article publication date: 12 September 2016

985

Abstract

Purpose

The present study aims to understand how Moroccan women working in information technology (IT) perceive the roles they fulfill in both their private and professional lives and assess their Work–life balance (WLB).

Design/methodology/approach

Existing research about WLB in Morocco focuses mainly on the public sector. As the present study is the first of its kind to deal with the private sector and more specifically IT, it is exploratory in nature while adopting a qualitative methodology. Twenty Moroccan women working in IT companies in the city of Casablanca were interviewed. Collected data were analyzed using a content analysis approach.

Findings

It emerged from the data analysis that adhering to the cultural assumption of being the pillar of the household and to the culture of respondents’ organizations seems to be a key factor in employee WLB. Three main recommendations stemmed from the current research, namely, increased maternity leave duration, workplace nurseries and telework, may help IT female employees improve their WLB and well-being.

Research limitations/implications

First, the study participants were selected by one individual, which may create a “sampling bias”, where one specific profile of IT specialist could be selected. Second, only IT workers took part in the study and no IT employers were interviewed, which may yield having only “one side of the story”.

Practical implications

The results that emerged from the current study, particularly the three main recommendations made by the 20 interviewees (increase of maternity leave duration, workplace nurseries and telework) may be used by different IT companies in the hopes of improving female employees’ WLB and well-being. Overall, employers ought to put in place measures and accommodate employees to help them reconcile their work and personal life commitments.

Social implications

It has been documented that lack of WLB can result in increased stress, deleterious effects on psychological and physical well-being and increased family and marital tensions (Burchell et al., 2001; Lewis and Cooper, 1999; Scase and Scales, 1998). Therefore, various stakeholders, in addition to employers, such as the government and IT employees’ families should work collaboratively to implement meaningful WLB arrangements and, in turn, prevent the negative effects of work–life imbalance through, among others, government policy interventions.

Originality/value

The present study is the first of its kind that looked into the perception of WLB among Moroccan women operating in the IT industry. It offers valuable insights about how to assist female Moroccan IT workers to reconcile their work and personal life commitments.

Keywords

Citation

Semlali, S. and Hassi, A. (2016), "Work–life balance: how can we help women IT professionals in Morocco?", Journal of Global Responsibility, Vol. 7 No. 2, pp. 210-225. https://doi.org/10.1108/JGR-07-2016-0017

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2016, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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