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Parenthood, Job-Family Balance and Gender Composition of the Workforce in Organizations during a Pandemic: The Case of Quebec

Parenthood, Job-Family Balance and Gender Composition of the Workforce in Organizations during a Pandemic: The Case of Quebec

Sophie Mathieu, Diane-Gabrielle Tremblay,

Volume : 77-2 (2022)

Parenting

Abstract

Quebec is recognized as the province whose family policy most closely resembles that of the Nordic countries, thanks to its generous parental benefits and low-cost childcare. In addition to state intervention, other mechanisms such as grandparent involvement and organizational support contribute to facilitate the work-family reconciliation. We examine this last mechanism by documenting the work-family reconciliation of mothers and fathers in Quebec on the basis of data analysis of two surveys conducted in 2020 with employees on the one hand and with employers on the other. First, we show that most parents report an “easy” reconciliation, even during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, and that the perception of men and women regarding the organizational support offered by their employer does not vary significantly by gender. We then provide a portrait of the work-family reconciliation measures offered in organizations that employ a majority of men, those that employ a majority of women, and those that are mixed. We show that organizations that employ a majority of men have a more negative perception of the effects of work-family reconciliation measures, while organizations with a majority of women have a more positive perception the effects of work-family reconciliation measures on employee retention and the attractiveness of the company in particular. We observe that the presence of a majority of women in a workplace corresponds to a more diversified supply of measures to support work-family reconciliation. The discussion highlights the links between Quebec’s national context that values the symmetry of family roles, the way parents perceive their work-family reconciliation and the attitude of employers towards this issue.

Keywords:

  • Work-family reconciliation,
  • Quebec,
  • Organisation,
  • Gender

 

Photo by Tanaphong Toochinda on Unsplash

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