Austria is one of the most family-friendly countries in the world, but the employment rate for women remains relatively low. With this research and insight commissioned by Familie&Beruf, we explored additional opportunities to boost female employment and leadership through a cross-national comparative analyses of job-sharing.
The Familie & Beruf Management GmbH is a non-profit enterprise, owned by the Austrian Minister of Family Affairs. Its main services are audit processes helping companies, universities and communities to evaluate and implement family-friendly measures in order to create and promote a more family-oriented work and life environment. It also manages a large community (online and offline) of employers (public and private) offering their working parents and carers a variety of work-life balance measures.
As the most important work-life balance actor in Austria, the Familie und Beruf GMBH were keen to extend their knowledge to an international level. As the new Austrian Minister for Families, Youth and Women, Dr. Juliane Bogner-Strauß is also keen on learning from international best practice, we conducted a cross-national comparative study on the potential of job-sharing:
- to explore what type of job-sharing platforms are there
- how job-sharing can work within the legal and cultural context of a country
- what are the attitudes of employers towards job-sharing employees
- whether there is a potential for job-sharing to contribute to improving the employment rate and career prospects of women.
The study, which was carried out for internal use to Familie&Beruf applied the following methods: desk-research, literature review, semi-structured interviews, meta-analysis and final narrative report.
It was also our pleasure meeting with the Minister, sharing some of our early findings with her, as well as presenting her with a copy of our book 'One Life' on work-life integration.