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Title: The experience of Greek pregnant working women: A qualitative exploration of gender expectations and role conflict
Authors: Saglam-Tsoukos, Aysegul
Keywords: Pregnancy
Gender stereotype
Role conflict
Issue Date: Sep-2022
Abstract: Majority of the working women will get pregnant while employed and integrating roles of a professional and a mother can be significantly challenging. Transitioning cultural context of Greece with strong stereotypes of gender roles, relatively low rates of women at work, make it worthy to explore the experience of pregnancy at work. This study sought to give voice to the women’s own lived experience of integrating their upcoming mother role into their home and work roles. It is the first qualitative research on the subject in Greece. Interpretational phenomenological analysis was used as the methodology. Participants were four Greek women, working in the private sector, pregnant for their first child. Three master themes were identified within the analysis: being pregnant while at work: maintaining a fragile balance; protecting the personal and professional identity when everything is going through change; on the thorny route of becoming a working mother. The experiences of the participants were impacted by the social expectations that, the workplace is a male-dominated domain, where reliability and presence are key requirements and the gender expectations that child-care is primarily a female responsibility. The participants frequently strived to match the standards of the ‘good’ mother and the ‘good’ employee, experienced guilt and anxiety when they felt they were not able to keep up with both roles. As this is a qualitative study with a small sample size, representative conclusions cannot be drawn. Future research on the experiences of working parents and working women with different cultural backgrounds are recommended.
Appears in Collections:Program in Counseling Psychology and Psychotherapy

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