Work time, gender, and inequality: The conundrums of flexibility

Janice Peterson, Barbara Wiens-Tuers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Because work time and its control are unevenly distributed, it shapes opportunities across different groups in society, both reflecting and reinforcing existing forms of inequality. Work time flexibility is seen by many as a way to promote gender equality by increasing the ability of women to exercise some control over their work time, thus facilitating their ability to participate in paid work while maintaining families. Yet, flexibility may take on very different meanings in different contexts, particularly with respect to the degree of control workers have over important aspects of their working time. This paper examines the meaning and distribution of work time flexibility for women in the United States. The paper begins with a brief discussion of the social construction and gendered nature of work time, and the complex and evolving distribution of work time in the United States. Measures of flexibility that seek to capture different aspects of workers' control over work time are then defined and examined through recent data for male and female workers from the General Social Survey (GSS).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)387-394
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Economic Issues
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Business, Management and Accounting
  • Economics and Econometrics


Dive into the research topics of 'Work time, gender, and inequality: The conundrums of flexibility'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this