The purpose of this paper is to examine the degree to which it is possible for young Cypriot mothers to conciliate motherhood and career and investigate if the employment conditions help them in their dual roles. The results from survey data show that, although women appear to be career-oriented, they face many problems to this end. The Maternity Law of Cyprus does not seem to satisfy their needs and work arrangements for new mothers are at a minimum level. Significant differences exist between subgroups, especially when divided by income or labour sector, in terms of maternity leave, job security after pregnancy, and workplace facilities. The paper shows that a work environment supportive of family life influences a woman’s commitment to the workplace positively. It becomes obvious that measures need to be taken, to retain pregnant employees and young mothers and support work-family balance
work-life balance, employment conditions, work-family culture, Maternity Law, maternity leave
Arora, R., Hartman, R.I. and Stoner, C.R. (1990) ‘Work-home Role Conflict in Female Owners of Small Business: An Exploratory Study’, Journal of Small Business Management, Vol. 28, No. 1, pp. 30-38.
Aryee, S. (1992) ‘Antecedents and Outcomes of Work-family Conflict among Married Professional Women: Evidence from Singapore’, Human Relations, Vol. 45, No. 2, pp. 813-837.
Averett, S.L. and Whittington, L.A. (2001) ‘Does Maternity Leave Induce Births?’, Southern Economic Journal, Vol. 68, No. 2, pp. 403-417.
Bosch, J., Margherita, A. and O’Dorchai, S. (2009) ‘Reconciliation between Work, Private and Family Life in the European Union’, Eurostat, Unit F-2 Labour Market Statistics. Luxembourg: Office for Official Publications of the European Communities.
Brandth, B. and Kvande, E. (2006) ‘Care Politics for Fathers in a Flexible Time Culture’, in Perrons, D., Fagan, C., McDowell, L., Ray, K. and Ward, K. (eds), Gender Divisions and Working Time in the New Economy. London: Edward Elgar Publishing, pp. 148-161.
Bruning, G. and Plantenga, J. (1999) ‘Parental Leave and Equal Opportunities: Experiences in Eight European Countries’, Journal of European Social Policy, Vol. 9, No. 3, pp. 195-209.
Burke, R.J. (2006) Research Companion to Working Time and Work Addiction. Edward Elgar: Cheltenham.
Dean, K. (1992) ‘Double Burdens of Work: The Female Work and Health Paradox’, Health Promotion International, Vol. 7, No. 1, pp. 17-25.
Del Boca, D. and Locatelli, M. (2007) ‘Motherhood and Participation’, in Del Boca, D. and Wetzels, C. (eds), Social Policies, Labour Markets and Motherhood: A Comparative Analysis of European Countries. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, pp. 153-268.
Den Dulk, L. and Van Doorne-Huiskes, A. (2007) ‘Social Policy in Europe: Its Impact on Families and Work’, in Crompton, R., Lewis, S. and Lyonnette, C. (eds), Women, Men, Work, and Family in Europe. Houndmills, UK: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 35-57.
Edwards, R. (2006) ‘Maternity Leave and the Evidence for Compensating Wage Differentials in Australia’, Economic Record, Vol. 82, No. 258, pp. 281-297.
Fagan, C. and Hebson, G. (2006) ‘Making Work Pay’ Debates from a Gender Perspective: A Comparative Review of Some Recent Policy Reforms in Thirty European Countries. European Commission, Luxembourg: Office for Official Publications of the European Communities.
Greenstein, T. (1989) ‘Human Capital, Marital and Birth Timing, and the Postnatal Labor Force Participation of Married Women’, Journal of Family Issues, Vol. 10, pp. 359-382.
Gustafsson, S., Wetzels, C. and Vlasblom, J. (1996) ‘Women’s Labor Force Transitions in Connection with Childbirth: A Panel Data Comparison between Germany, Sweden and Great Britain’, Journal of Population Economics, Vol. 9, pp. 224-246.
Hausmann, R., Tyson, L.D. and Zahidi, S. (2010) The Global Gender Gap: Report 2010, Geneva: World Economic Forum Report.
Hein, C. and Cassirer, N. (2010) Workplace Solutions for Childcare’, Geneva: International Labour Office.
Hochschild, A.R. (2003) The Second Shift. New York: Penguin Group.
Hofvander, Y. (2003) ‘Why Women Don’t Breastfeed: A National Survey’, Acta Paediatrica, Vol. 92, No. 11, pp. 1243-1244.
Kim, J.L.S. and Ling, C.S. (2001) ‘Work-family Conflict of Women Entrepreneurs in Singapore’, Women in Management Review, Vol. 16, No. 5, pp. 204-221.
Klerman, J.A. and Leibowitz, A. (1994) ‘The Work-employment Distinction among New Mothers’, Journal of Human Resources, Vol. 29, pp. 277-303.
Lewis, J. (1997) ‘Gender and Welfare Regimes: Further Thoughts’, Social Politics: International Studies in Gender, State and Society, Vol. 4, No. 2, pp. 160-177.
Lyness, K.S., Thompson, C.A., Francesco, A.M. and Judiesch, M.K. (1999) ‘Work and Pregnancy: Individual and Organizational Factors Influencing Organizational Commitment, Timing of Maternity Leave, and Return to Work’, Sex Roles: A Journal of Research, Vol. 41, No. 7-8, pp. 485-508.
Miller, V.D., Jablin, F.M., Casey, M.K., Lamphear-Van Horn, M. and Ethington, C. (1996) ‘The Maternity Leave as a Role Negotiation Process’, Journal of Managerial Issues, Vol. 8, No. 3, pp. 286-309.
Moss, P. and Deven, F. (eds) (1999) Parental Leave: Progress or Pitfall? Brussels: NIDI/CBGS Publications.
Newell, S. (1993) ‘The Superwoman Syndrome: Gender Differences in Attitudes towards Equal Opportunities at Work and towards Domestic Responsibilities at Home’, Work, Employment and Society, Vol. 7, No. 2, pp. 275-289.
Newell, S. (1996) ‘The Superwoman Syndrome: A Comparison of the “Heroine” in Denmark and the UK’, Women in Management Review, Vol. 11, No. 5, pp. 36-41.
Petroglou, P. (2000) ‘Best Practices for the Reconciliation of Family and Professional Life: The Greek Report’, Research Centre for Gender Equality (KETHI). Available at [http://www.kethi.gr/greek/meletes], accessed on 27 September 2009.
Plantenga, J. and Remery, C. (2005) ‘Reconciliation of Work and Private Life: A Comparative Review of Thirty European Countries’, EU Expert Group on Gender, Social Inclusion and Employment (EGGSIE), Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities, European Commission. Luxembourg: Office for Official Publications of the European Communities.
Plantenga, J. and Remery, C. (2009) ‘The Provision of Childcare Services: A Comparative Review of 30 European Countries’, European Commission’s Expert Group on Gender and Employment Issues (EGGE). Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities, European Commission. Luxembourg: Office for Official Publications of the European Communities.
Plantenga, J., Remery, C. and Rubery, J. (2008) ‘Gender Mainstreaming of Employment Policies: A Comparative Review of Thirty European Countries’. Luxembourg: Office for Official Publications of the European Communities. Available at [http://ec.europa.eu/employment_social/gender_equality/docs/ 2007/gend_mainstr07_en.pdf], accessed on 29 September 2011.
Pleck, J.H., Staines, G.L. and Lang, L. (1980) ‘Conflicts between Work and Family Life’, Monthly Labor Review, Vol. 102, No. 3, pp. 29-32.
Rapoport, R., Bailyn, L., Fletcher, J.K. and Pruitt, B.H. (2002) Beyond Work-family Balance: Advancing Gender Equity and Workplace Performance. Chichester, UK: John Wiley and Sons.
Republic of Cyprus (1997) The Protection of Maternity Law No. 100(I)/9. Department of Labour Relations. Available at [http://www.mlsi.gov.cy], accessed on 17 July 2006.
Republic of Cyprus (2002) The Parental Leave and Leave on Grounds of Force Majeure Law Of 2002. Department of Labour Relations. Available at [http://www.mlsi.gov.cy], accessed on 10 August 2006.
Rubery, J., Grimshaw, D., Figueiredo, H., Smith, M. and Donnelly, R. (2005) The National Reform Programme 2005 and the Gender Equality Aspects of the European Employment Strategy. The coordinator’s synthesis report prepared for the Equality Unit, European Commission, Brussels. Available at [http://ec.europa.eu/employment_social/gender_equality/gender_mainstreaming/gender/exp_group_ en.html], accessed on 5 October 2011.
Scott, J.A., Binns, C.W., Oddy, W.H. and Graham, K.I. (2006) ‘Predictors of Breastfeeding Duration: Evidence from a Cohort Study’, Pediatrics, Vol. 117, No. 4, pp. 646-655.
Werbel, J. (1998) ‘Intent and Choice Regarding Maternal Employment Following Childbirth’, Journal of Vocational Behavior, Vol. 53, pp. 372-385.
Copyright: © University of Nicosia, Cyprus
All rights reserved.
No restrictions on photo-copying.
Quotations from The Cyprus Review are welcome, but acknowledgement of the source must be given.