Teleworking and Gender

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Institute for Employment Studies, Jan 1, 1996 - Sex role in the work environment - 78 pages
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This report details a survey of 188 teleworkers throughout Europe that was supplemented by face-to-face interviews with 9 teleworkers in the United Kingdom, Sweden, and the Netherlands. The group of male and female home-based translators was chosen for two reasons: most surveys and case studies of teleworking have been company based and unable to study the self-employed, and past research on teleworking that has focused on gender differences has compared males and females in different occupational fields. Findings indicated some evidence of a breakdown in the differences between men and women, with some men taking on "feminine" roles within the household, whereas some female teleworkers were "breadwinners." This finding supported the view that gender differences in labor market behavior resulted from the different social situations in which men and women tended to find themselves. Although the majority said they had chosen this form of work because they wanted to be autonomous, free, and "their own boss," in practice they had less freedom to control their time because of the unpredictability of the work and the shortness of the deadlines. A very high and unmet demand for training was uncovered. Teleworking was found to have enormous potential to become an instrument that promotes equality of opportunity between men and women in the labor market. However, the study concluded this potential could only be realized if teleworking were introduced in ways that maximize choices. (Contains 34 references.) (YLB)

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Survey Methodology
Household Roles
Employment History and Teleworking Experience

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About the author (1996)

Ursula Huws is Professor of Labour and Globalisation at the University of Hertfordshire in the UK, and founder of Analytica Social and Economic Research. She is the author of The Making of a Cybertariat: Virtual Work in a Real World.

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