The talk presented empirical findings on the use of flexitime policies in financial institutions as a way to manage workload fluctuations around month-end. Because financial institutions are dealing in financial transactions, month-end becomes an exceptionally busy and stressful time with all parties clamouring to meet deadlines before the books are closed. Not to mention the deadlines imposed by the banks, the authorisations required by law, and the stringent audits, all of which have tightened since the economic crisis. However, while the use of flexitime may work well for those who can be flexible, i.e. young, ambitious employees, it works less well for those who cannot be flexible, i.e. mothers of young children, raising some important questions about finance sector culture, as well as about gender inequality therein.

Speaker: Heather Griffiths is a fourth year PhD student in the Department of Sociology. Her broad research interests are in gender and work, work life balance and feminist theory. Her PhD research looks at flexible working policies within the finance sector, and whether such policies will be supported by finance sector culture, as well as how they impact on gender equality and work life balance both at work and in the home.

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