Self-employment can be right on target for dads seeking work-life balance, but it can backfire on mums.
Researchers at La Trobe University and the Australian National University analysed data of men and women who moved from employee to entrepreneur in the search for more family time.
They found that the transition to self-employment often resulted in more rigid gender roles, with men opting to be the breadwinners while women focused more on family.
Co-author Dr Liana Leach from the Australian National University says the findings are important for women who view self-employment as a flexible way to juggle career and family.
“For self-employed fathers, self-employment may work to relieve some work-family strains. Fathering is organised centrally around work as a priority, performing a breadwinner role and also allowing them to potentially be more available to their children,” Dr Leach said.
“For mothers, however, self-employment may actually reinforce traditional gender norms by entrenching inequalities in paid work, as mothers seem to still shoulder obligation to prioritise care for children and be more available, fitting their paid work around this.”
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