It is a discussion that was dubbed a ‘barbecue stopper’ a few years ago and it continues to grab the headlines as we work longer and harder: the quest for better work and family balance.

But a new study shows even employers offering well-supported policies to help manage the load could be facing an uphill battle if their senior management team is too blokey.

The research, by Associate Professor Julie Cogin in the School of Management at the Australian School of Business (ASB), reveals one of the best determiners of whether work–family support (WFS) policies are successfully implemented is the ‘level of masculinity’ of the leadership team.

In a management team with high masculine orientation, traditional gender roles tended to stay in place and women were expected to have higher family involvement and lower work involvement than men.

Significantly, the research, which involved studying what was and wasn’t working in 94 subsidiaries in 27 countries of a European multinational organisation, goes beyond measuring employee satisfaction. Instead it shows effective WFS strategies have a tangible impact on business results and performance, both financial and non-financial.

Read the full story in the latest Uniken.

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