Early career mobility and health and wellbeing of female doctorate holders: A narrative review of the international literature

Álvarez, Inma; Horáčková, Clare and Vseteckova, Jitka (2024). Early career mobility and health and wellbeing of female doctorate holders: A narrative review of the international literature. Gender, Work & Organization (early access).

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/gwao.13138

Abstract

While in the last decade gender research has shown great interest in problems around work–life balance for women and the implications for their career mobility, the links between these and women's health and wellbeing have not been fully examined. This article reviews international research undertaken between 1980 and 2020 on the early career period of female doctorate holders. The focus is on the early career mobility (career progression as well as international, disciplinary, and sectorial mobility) of women with doctorates and the connections between their mobility and their physical and mental health and wellbeing. Guided by feminist theories on recurrent institutionalized and legitimized gender inequalities, our review identifies the establishment of inequity during the early career period for female doctoral graduates inside and outside academia and associates this with imbalances in mobility patterns, which are directly connected with their personal lives. The evidence found also suggests that women's health and wellbeing is mostly negatively impacted by these circumstances which may be contributing to women leaving academia or employment. Some improvements at institutional level are recommended as well as the need to continue challenging perceptions of gender roles and responsibilities.

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