New Zealand Journal of Employment Relations


New Zealand Journal of Employment Relations
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Special issue  : Gender and wellbeing at work



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New Zealand Journal of Employment Relations
Volume 42  Number 3

In the latest New Zealand Journal of Employment Relations the following topics are covered. If you wish to read the full articles or download the entire NZJER issue you need to subscribe to the NZJER.

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Editorial: Gender & Wellbeing at Work
Katherine Ravenswood, Candice Harris and Wendy Wrapson
AUT University

Introducation to this Special Issue highlighting research in New Zealand, Australia and South East Asia on the topic of gender and wellbeing at work.

Older women: employment and wellbeing in later life
Barbara Myers* and Julie Douglas**


This article explores the older worker discourse on wellbeing and work by highlighting the labour market re-entry and work experiences of a small group of older women who returned to New Zealand ‘rejuvenated’ after completing self-initiated expatriation (SIE), a period of extended travel and work overseas. The women explored a diverse range of organisational employment options and despite their intention to engage in appropriate and meaningful work pathways, their experiences were marred by discrimination, disadvantage and disappointment. However the participants, buoyed by the freedom, challenges and learnings derived from their recent SIE, were no longer prepared to compromise their personal wellbeing by engaging in unsatisfactory work roles and looked to alternative avenues, outside formal organisational work to preserve their sense of wellbeing. This research contributes to the older worker and wellbeing discourses by encouraging employers and other stakeholders to embrace a broad range of ‘older’ employee pathways, in a spirit of employer–employee reciprocity that support and enhance individual and organisational wellbeing.

* Department of Management, Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand
** Department of Management, Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand

Gender pay equity and wellbeing: an intersectional study of engineering and caring occupations
Judith K. Pringle*, Sharyn Davies**, Lynne Giddings*** and Judy McGregor****


This article discusses the complexity of gender pay within the occupations of engineering and caring. Applying an intersectional framework, we examine the role the gender pay gap plays in the perceived wellbeing of women engineers and care workers. The salient identities (micro level) for the two groups were identified through analysis of the professional context (meso) and the socio-political environment (macro). The two participant groups were situated in different class positions. The intersections of identities revealed unexpected advantages and disadvantages for women seeking fair and decent pay, with various implications for perceived wellbeing.

* Judith K Pringle, Dept of Management/Gender & Diversity Research Group, AUT University
** Sharyn Davies, School of Social Sciences and Public Policy/ Gender & Diversity Research Group, AUT University
*** Lynne Giddings, Faculty of Health & Environmental Sciences/ Gender & Diversity Research Group, AUT University
**** Judy McGregor, School of Social Sciences and Public Policy, AUT University

Early Childhood Education and Care Workers and Wellbeing in a Continuous Caring Regime
Lara Corr*, Jane Dixon**  and John Burgess***


The childcare sector in Australia is large and growing, and is an important institutional support for women to participate in the workforce. The sector is highly feminised, professionalised and accredited, and low paid. This article reports on the time pressures, that is the pressure of competing demands on the time of workers, and how these link to the wellbeing of workers in the sector. The study interviewed business owners, child care service managers and child care service providers to highlight management of the squeeze on time through continuous caring. It then investigates the implications for health and eating behaviours that are associated with the squeeze on time.

* School of Social Sciences, Swinburne University of Technology, Hawthorn Victoria, 3122
** National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health, Research School of Population Health, ANU College of Medicine, Biology and Environment, The Australian National University, 62 Mills Road, Acton  ACT  2601 Australia.
*** School of Management, RMIT University, Melbourne 3000. (corresponding author)

The personal and the professional: betwixt and between the paid and unpaid responsibilities of working women with chronic illness
Shalene Werth*


The labour market outcomes experienced by women with chronic illness are subject to a number of influences. These influences have been recently expanded to include the normative expectations of wellbeing as a prerequisite for productivity in their various social and working roles. Discussion of these factors is often situated within the bounds of the workplace. One area, external to the workplace, which needs greater attention is the role of family and friends as part of the support network for these women. The personal environment has the potential to allow women with chronic illness to excel in their work and careers, however, it may also result in less positive outcomes.  This paper examines the workforce experiences of women with chronic illness and role that personal and professional influences play in their workplace outcomes.

* Senior lecturer, School of Management and Enterprise, University of Southern Queensland, Australia

Untangling paradoxes in wellbeing work with women victims of violence: A developing world perspective
Edwina Pio** and Smita Singh**


Through using the lens of paradox theory, we examine an exemplar case of a social enterprise and highlight a developing world perspective on wellbeing of victims of acid violence. Acid attacks are one of the most gruesome forms of gendered violence. Although more common in the developing world, globalisation has transported such gendered violence into the international arena. Through narratives of participants in this study, we present three paradoxes that offer a rare glimpse into the emotionally laden and challenging nature of wellbeing work in addressing recovery and rehabilitation of women victims of acid violence in the developing world.

* Department of Management, Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand
** Department of Management, Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand

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