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Is self-employment a good option? Gender, parents and the work-family interface

Dinh, H, Martin, A ORCID: 0000-0003-0109-1218, Leach, L, Strazdins, L, Nicholson, J, Allen, T and Cooklin, A 2020 , 'Is self-employment a good option? Gender, parents and the work-family interface' , Sex Roles , pp. 1-16 , doi: 10.1007/s11199-020-01195-1.

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Abstract

Self-employment is a career decision that is likely to be influenced by the gendered dynamics of work and care for parents ofyoung children. We test a theoretical model investigating the effect a transition into self-employment (compared to stayingorganizationally-employed) has on the work-family interface (work-to-family, family-to-work conflicts and work-family enrichment), exploring the key mechanisms of job autonomy, flexibility and work hours for mothers and fathers. We theorize genderdifferences in this model which we test using national, cohort data of Australian parents’ employment transitions over 5 timepoints (2004–2012), with n = 4165 observations from mothers and n = 5059 from fathers. For fathers, self-employment yieldedlonger work hours, higher work-family conflicts, but lower family-work conflicts, and enhanced enrichment. For mothers, self-employment heralded fewer work hours, lower work-family conflicts, but higher family-work conflicts. Job autonomy wasenhanced, and positive for those transitioning into self-employment. While flexibility was positive for fathers, it was not sofor mothers, eroding benefits. Results suggest that moving into self-employment ties fathers to ‘breadwinning’ (long hours); andmothers to fitting work more squarely around children’s care needs. Self-employment may entrench gender inequities in paidwork opportunities, bringing caution to the current view of self-employment as a ‘solution’ to the work-family dilemma.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Dinh, H and Martin, A and Leach, L and Strazdins, L and Nicholson, J and Allen, T and Cooklin, A
Keywords: self-employment, work-family conflict, parents, work-family enrichment, job control, flexible work, occupational health, work and family
Journal or Publication Title: Sex Roles
Publisher: Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publ
ISSN: 0360-0025
DOI / ID Number: 10.1007/s11199-020-01195-1
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2020 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature

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