Gender Women in the legal profession Work / life balance
E. Drew and I. Bacik, Struggling with juggling: gender and work/life balance in the legal professions, Women's Studies International Forum, 29, (2), 2006, p136 - 146
Women's Studies International Forum 29 (2), 2006
Since the 1960s, women have begun emerging into the public sphere and the public/private divide has been eroding. However, women's participation in the public sphere remains limited by the ongoing need to do two jobs (‘the double day’), working both in the home and in the labour market. Thus, a study conducted into gender difference in the legal professions in Ireland [Bacik, Ivana, Costello, Cathryn, and Drew, Eileen (2003), Gender InJustice: Feminising the legal professions?, Trinity College Dublin Law School, Dublin.] found that, while women are entering legal studies in increasing numbers, they remain concentrated at the lower levels of practice. Women lawyers have immense difficulty in achieving work/life balance, due to the long hours culture, an ingrained hostility to flexible work arrangements, and to the fact that they retain a disproportionate caring burden in the private sphere. Changes in the structuring of legal work are clearly required to address this gender imbalance and the associated work/life imbalance — but cultural changes are ultimately needed to end the ongoing “struggle to juggle.”
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