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Gender and Later Working Life

by on July 2, 2014

Last week, we attended the 8th Biennial International Conference on Gender, Work & Organization hosted at the University of Keele.

We presented our paper in the ‘Gender and Later Working Life’ stream, convened by Dr Linda Colley, Professor Wendy Loretto and Dr Aine Ni Leime. This proved to be a collection of excellent and wide-ranging papers covering topics as diverse as a biocultural approach to women, work and the menopause (Kat Riach and colleagues), representations of staffing companies that specialise in older workers in Sweden (Elisabet Cedersund and colleagues), the (not so rosy) pension consequences of working part-time in Norway (Anne Inga Hilsen and colleagues) and issues of age and gender in Occupational Safety & Health (Joanne Crawford).

It also introduced us to some fascinating new methods of analysing data, in particular the use of optimal matching analysis to study cross-national patterns in how employment pathways are gendered in later life (Laurie Corna and colleagues). This is a method primarily used in genetic sequencing but has been adapted for use in the social sciences to examine dissimilarities in data that represent a time-ordered sequence of selected socio-economic states. In this project it’s used to examine and model gender differences in the detailed labour market involvement and family histories of men and women in Germany, Italy and Sweden. The project findings challenge assumptions about retirement as a ‘one time labour market exit’ which can hide much of the complexity of work and other responsibilities in later life.

Our thanks to the stream conveners and to all who took part in a fascinating and highly enjoyable event. It was great to meet new colleagues working in this area and to catch up with old friends.

We’ve put a copy of the presentation of our paper on the Publications and Past Conference Presentations page of this blog.

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