Working time preferences among women: challenging assumptions on underemployment, work centrality and work life balance


This research examines the working time preferences of women with different stable schedules working 20 hours per week in manufacturing jobs. To this end, qualitative research was employed to identify worker profiles deriving from these women’s working time preferences and the reasons for them. Our findings contribute to nuances in previous research by highlighting that: (1) some, but not all, of these employees can be considered underemployed; (2) working 20 hours per week does not equate to low work centrality and is compatible with working hours being experienced as meaningful; (3) some part‐time women workers want to preserve time for non‐caring, non‐working activities in spite of the low salary.

International Labour Review

Online appendix

The online appendix contains an extension of the procedures and results presented in the paper.