Questing the Work-Life Challenges Faced by Solo-Living Women Academics: Can there be a “life” for us?

Grace Gao, Linna Sai, Mengyi Xu

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This chapter focuses on exploring challenges encountered by the neglected
group of employees who live alone and do not have children, particularly
in relation to work–life balance (WLB). We first question the conventional
WLB discourse – predominately surrounded by addressing work–family
conflicts. We next discuss how this formulates debates about the equality
and fairness of HR policies affecting various groups of employees, with
solo-living individuals being excluded. In addition to previously documented work–life issues, we articulate difficulties related to the pursuit of
independence, freedom, balancing, and healthy work-life experiences for
and specific to solo-living women academics. We conclude that our insights
on ‘vulnerability’ may lead to feminist approach being incorporated into
work–life policy development in order to better engage underrepresented
groups of employees, accommodate the needs of ‘others’ and promote
collective flourishing.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationWork-Life Inclusion
Subtitle of host publicationBroadening perspectives across the life-course
EditorsKrystal Wilkinson, Helen Woolnough
Place of PublicationBingley
PublisherEmerald Publishing
ISBN (Print)9781803822204
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 12 Jan 2024

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