Having (a Piece of) It All: An Exploration of Mothers’ Perceptions of Organizational Culture and Reduced Work Schedules in Canada

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Gillis, Jessica
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Mount Saint Vincent University
As the number of women in professional employment continues to increase, so does the number of families with both parents working in paid employment. This has rendered a stressful reality for families, especially mothers as they attempt to balance the often conflicting and demanding roles: work and motherhood. Workplaces have embraced the metaphor of “organizations as cultures,” yet these cultures remain childless. Despite the range of research on motherhood and employment, there is a lack of ‘mothers’ voices’ in the research to shine a light on what the actual demographic needs to feel supported in their career and family roles. Through survey research, this study examined the perceptions of mothers living in Canada about the current landscape of organizational culture, how they feel they are treated once they return from maternity leave, and what types of work schedules they feel may alleviate work-family conflict. Overall, mothers surveyed in this study wanted the same thing – more professional opportunities that offer a reduced schedule or flexibility that accommodates family care. Mothers who were surveyed want to maintain their professional selves, but motherhood also plays a critical role in their lives. The constraints of the traditional workday are becoming obsolete with the advancement of technology, creating the perfect opportunity for employers to re-evaluate these traditional models and begin to help take the burden off families who desire a better work-life balance.
Motherhood, employment, part-time work, professional employment, organizational culture, organizational behaviour, maternity leave, work-life balance, work-life conflict