Card image cap
Card image cap

The struggle of reconciling work and family caregiving among employed women caregivers: between balance and disengagement

Mélanie Gagnon, Catherine Beaudry

Research context: This article examines how women family caregivers, mainstays of family solidarity, reconcile their work life with caregiving responsibilities.

Objectives: To understand women caregivers’ needs in terms of reconciling paid work with caregiving responsibilities, and the conflict they experience between their different roles.

Methodology: The needs of these caregivers were identified through 42 in-depth semi-structured interviews with women family caregivers.

Results: Family solidarity largely rests on the shoulders of women caregivers. The way they cope with their caregiving responsibilities and work life brings out divergent points as well as similarities regarding the difficulties they encounter.

Conclusions: Employers should implement general and flexible programs aiming to reconcile work and family caregiving. Also, the programs should focus less on individual responsibilities in order to avoid work-related penalties and gender inequalities, while fostering a genuine reconciliation of work and personal time regardless of one’s life course.

Contribution: Based on a proposed typology of employed women caregivers, this study reveals the different ways employed women caregivers reconcile their caregiving role with their work life.