Britain’s slow movement to a gender egalitarian equilibrium: parents and employment in the UK 2001–13

Sara Connolly (Lead Author), Matthew Aldrich, Margaret O'Brien, Svetlana Speight, Eloise Poole

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)
36 Downloads (Pure)


This article examines the working lives of British couple families across the first decade of the millennium using EU Labour Force Survey data (2001–13) taking a multiple equilibria approach. Some growth in dual full-time earners, increased working hours of mothers in part-time employment and a growing proportion of households with ‘non-standard’ working patterns are all identified, suggesting both a convergence and greater diversity in economic provisioning within parent couple households. Household employment patterns remain strongly associated with maternal education and family size but are becoming less sensitive to the age of the youngest child. The dual full-time earner model is growing in significance for British parents of young children but a new gender egalitarian equilibrium has not yet been reached.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)838-857
Number of pages20
JournalWork, Employment and Society
Issue number5
Early online date11 May 2016
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2016


  • breadwinners
  • dual earners
  • education
  • employment
  • families
  • gender

Cite this