Global Challenges Program

Visible Parenting 640 by 166

Visible Parenting in the Workplace

The Project

Visible Parenting in the WorkplaceThis Global Challenges Project looks at Visible Parenting in the Workplace, the impact of workplace discrimination and strategies to address it. It follows on from recent research brought out by the Australian Human Rights Commission that 49% of mothers reported discrimination during pregnancy, parental leave or return to work. 27% of fathers and partners reported similar experiences.

It will explore how and when employees make their parenting responsibilities visible in the workplace, and the implications of doing so. Visible Parenting can include pregnancy, talking about children in the workplace, breastfeeding or expressing milk, taking or nominating carer’s leave for sick children, bringing children to work for visits or by necessity and negotiating workload balances and flexible work arrangements.

The study will look at the allied health sector, universities, the public service and engineering sector. It will include both male and female dominated industries and diverse professional cultures and expectations in Australia.

The aim of the program is to provide insights into when and how parents make visible parenting decisions. It will determine the institutional, social and economic drivers that support employees. Another goal of the program is to identify attributes of workplaces that foster or hinder visible parenting and provide a clearer picture of how parents can achieve an appropriate work-life balance. 

In The Media

Parenting At Work: How Visible Are Your Choices?: The Motherish, February 16, 2016

The Researchers

This Global Challenges project is an interdisciplinary multi-institutional research initiative to address the challenge of parenting in the workplace.

Dr Natascha Klocker (Faculty of Social Sciences, UoW) is a human geographer whose research has focused on ethnic and race-based discrimination. In recent years, this research focus has expanded to consider gender discrimination in the academic workforce. She is experienced in both qualitative and quantitative research.

Dr Danielle Drozdzewski (Faculty of Science, UNSW) is a cultural and social geographer. One key research agenda is directed at the apparent unevenness and inequalities in the workplace, especially outcomes for women in the workforce. She has expertise in qualitative research and especially with the application of large scale survey instruments.

Dr Michael Flood (Faculty of Law, Humanities and the Arts, UoW) is a sociologist whose research focuses on gender and sexual relations. He has contributed to scholarship on parenting, families, and the workplace in publications which examine the constraints to and opportunities for fathers’ parenting; and explore workplace-based strategies for promoting gender equality.

Dr Jennifer Atchison (Faculty of Social Sciences, UoW) is a human geographer whose research has focused on human nature relationships and everyday practice in the context of climate change and biodiversity conservation. She is experienced in both quantitative and qualitative research.

Dr Sarah Hamylton (Faculty of Science Medicine and Health, UoW) is a Senior Lecturer in GIS who focuses on spatial analysis of geographical phenomena, of both a human and physical nature. Sarah often undertakes statistical analysis of large datasets.

Ms Julie Croft is the Acting Director Employment Equity and Diversity at the University of Wollongong, prior to this role Julie specialised in the area of employee retention and engagement at UOW for ten years. Julie has more than 25 years experience in HR policy and remuneration benchmarking and has also worked as an organisational change consultant. 

Last reviewed: 9 November, 2016

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