Literature and Links

Literature and Links

Stojmenovska, Dragane, & England, Paula (2020):Parenthood and the Gender Gap in Workplace Authority. European Sociological Review.


Sardadvar, Karin, Bergmann, Nadja & Sorger, Claudia (2020): Vaterschaft in Männerbranchen: zwischen neuen Arbeitszeitkulturen und traditionellem Erwerbsideal. GENDER–Zeitschrift für Geschlecht, Kultur und Gesellschaft, 12(2).

A qualitative study from Austria, which examines the handling of paternity leave and existing practices for the implementation of the compatibility of work and care obligations for fathers. The focus is on male-dominated industries (e. g. Production, Industry, Technology, IT). The study was part of the EU Project „Men and reconciling work and family life: ways to a fair distribution of parental leave, care and working hours“, 2015–2017.The results show that while there are efforts to provide fathers with opportunities to reconcile work and family, they remain within the male ideal of employment. This can be stated on the base of very short periods of parental leave for fathers and the attempt to allow the reconciling of work and Family within the framework of full-time work (e. g. more flexible working time models). Another finding was the lack of standardised company regulations for dealing with parental leave, which means that parental leave periods are based on individual agreements and compromises. Overall, the results show that the classic male employment ideal is not only an obstacle to reconciliation at company level, but that company practices in male-dominated industries in turn help to reproduce and maintain the existing gender roles.


UNICEF, ILO, UN Women (2020): Family-friendly policies and other good workplace practices in the context of Covid-19: Key steps employers can take.

The article, written by UNICEF, ILO and UN Women, refers to the current corona crisis and the challenges that working parents face as a result. In view of this, the article provides employers with advice and recommendations for dealing with parents at the workplace during the current situation. The recommendations relate in particular to the topics of working time organisation, childcare and health prevention and advice is also given on how to deal with parents in a way appropriate to the situation.

UNICEF, ILO, UN Women_2020


Wochenalt, Sophie & McGrew-Taferl, Gerlinde (2020). Diskriminierung von Eltern am Arbeitsplatz: Kinder als Hindernis im Beruf – Analyse häufiger Fälle der Arbeiterkammer. In: WISO/43 (3)

The article, written by the Chamber of Labor of Upper Austria and published in the WISO Journal explains the legal basis of the Equal Treatment Act and forms of discrimination based on parenthood that violate it.  Since the majority of discrimination occurs in the establishment and termination of employment relationships, in the determination of remuneration and with regard to general working conditions, violations at these levels are illustrated on the basis of various cases from the counselling practice. The different forms of parental discrimination occur very often directly after the announcement of pregnancy or the wish to claim parental rights. Stereotypical role conceptions, the high orientation towards the full-time norm as well as negative prejudices regarding the performance of working parents are identified as inhibiting factors for the reconciliation of work and family.

Becker S., Fernandes A., Weichselbaumer D. (2019): Discrimination in Hiring Based on Potential and Realized Fertility: Evidence from a Large-Scale Field Experiment, in Labour Economics, Vol. 59: 139-152

An experimental study recently conducted in Germany, Switzerland and Aus
tria, which investigated the effect of a candidate’s family status in hiring practices. The results show that married, but childless women and women with younger children are disadvantaged in comparison to single women or married women with older children. These effects were only found for women applying for part-time jobs, whereas family status did not affect hiring decisions concerning women applying for full time jobs.

Becker et al_2019


Mauerer, Gerlinde & Schmidt Eva-Maria (2019): Parents’ Strategies in Dealing with Constructions of Gendered Responsibilities at Their Workplaces. In: Social Sciences, Vol. 8, No. 250

This Austrian study investigated if the division of childcare between parents is influenced by normative role expectations and expectations from the supervisor. It also presents the situation of parents who deviate from normative role expectations concerning the division of childcare. The results show that parents face difficulties when they do not meet the normative role expectations. Men who want to reduce their working hours in favour of childcare experience a lack of understanding by their workmates and supervisors. The same applies for women with children who do not want to reduce their workload.

Mauerer & Schmidt_2019


Schönherr, Daniel, Leibetseder Bettina, Moser, Winfried & Hofinger Christoph (2019): Diskriminierungserfahrungen in Österreich. Erleben von Ungleichbehandlung, Benachteiligung und Herabwürdigung in den Bereichen Arbeit, Wohnen, medizinische Dienstleistungen und Ausbildung. Vienna: Chamber of Labour Vienna

The study investigated, which groups of people in Austria are facing discrimination. The results showed that apart of people with migratory background, muslims, people with physical disabilities and people from a lower social class, employees with children are severely affected by discrimination, especially in the labour market access.

Schönherr et al_2019


Wagner-Steinrigl, Sabine (2019): Vereinbarkeit von Beruf und Familie: Diskriminierung am Arbeitsplatz wegen Kindern. In: ARD, Vol. 6673, No. 5, 3-6.

This article deals with the different forms of parental discrimination in the workplace and the resulting violation of the Equal Treatment Act. After giving an overview about the legal framework, the author illustrates different forms of parental discrimination by presenting various case studies. In conclusion, the author gives employers advice on how to deal with mothers and fathers in a fair and appreciative way in the workplace.



Warming, Kenn, Roseberry, Lynn, Precht, Kirsten, Hansen, Trine Berner & Granerud Gunvor (2019): Discrimination against Parents – Experiences of Discrimination in Connection with Pregnancy and Parental Leave. Kopenhagen: Danish Institute for Human Rights.

The study investigated the types and the extent of discrimination against parents and expecting parents. It was found out that half of the women and a quarter of the men questioned face discrimination in connection with pregnancy and parenthood. The experienced forms of discrimination range from questions about pregnancy and desire to have children in job applications over a deterioration of the working climate after announcing pregnancy to pejorative remarks from the boss or from workmates and worse working conditions after returning from pregnancy or parental leave. In some cases, parents even did not return to their workplace due to bad experiences during pregnancy.

Warming et al_2019


Eurofound (2018): Discrimination Against Men at Work: Experiences in Five Countries. Publications Office of the European Union, Luxembourg.

Work-related discrimination based on sex has already been examined in several studies. Nevertheless, as most of the studies focus on women, there exists little research concerning discrimination against men in the workplace. This study, conducted in five European countries, shows that also men often experience disadvantages in the workplace which can be considered as gender discrimination. One of the key findings of the study is that men are often discriminated against when trying to reconcile their work with family responsibilities. On the base of case studies, it is shown that men who request parental leave and/or part-time often encounter incomprehension and rejection from their superiors, whilst their female colleagues receive support for the same requests. Given these findings, it can be stated that traditional gender roles – in which men are supposed to be the ‘breadwinners’ whereas women are responsible for household and child care tasks- are still strongly anchored in society and prevent an equal sharing of care responsibilities. To tackle this issue, the study concludes that it is important to include the perspective of both women and men.



Lojewski, J., Harth, V. & Mache, S (2017): Stressoren für Schwangere am Arbeitsplatz. In: Zentralblatt für Arbeitsmedizin, Arbeitsschutz und Ergonomie. Vol.67, No. 1, 40-43.

Presentation of factors that cause stress for pregnant women at the workplace. Discrimination is one of the most important factors, which causes stress and can have a negative influence on the health of mother and child. Organizational factors such as unfavourable workplace culture, inflexible work time regulations, gender stereotypes or a lack of awareness and understanding for the rights of pregnant employees can reinforce stress for pregnant women at the workplace.

Lojewski et al_2017


Wagner-Steinrigl, Sabine (2017): Vereinbarkeit von Beruf und Kindern: Diskriminierungsmuster bei Fällen der Gleichbehandlungsanwaltschaft. In: Wiso. Vol. 40, No. 4, 120-131.

Description of recurring types of discrimination in connection with parental leave and pregnancy on the basis of case studies. Presentation of strategies to reduce discrimination against parents at the workplace.



Haas, Linda & Hwang, Philip (2016). “It’s About Time!”: Company Support for Fathers’ Entitlement to Reduced Work Hours in Sweden. Social Politics 2016 Vol. 23, No. 1.

A Swedish study which examines if organizations in Sweden support fathers who reduce their working hours in favour of childcare. The results show that there is little support for part-time working fathers and that the majority of fathers do not reduce their working hours despite their legal right to do so. It is assumed that the lack of institutional pressure on organizations and normative role expectations are the reason for that.

Haas & Hwang_2016


Mauerer, Gerlinde (2016): Neuland Vaterschaft – Pioniergeist und männliche Beziehungspflege. content/uploads/2016/11/Mauerer_Vaterschaft_Elternkarenz_VfW_Online_Dokumentation_-2016.pdf. last access: 4.10.2019.

Experiences from fathers living an active parenthood and deviating from the normative role expectations. The fathers talked about positive experiences when working in the area of social services, in civil service or when the supervisor himself also was in parental leave. Apart of these positive experiences many fathers also received critical and pejorative remarks. There were found factors, that can encourage fathers to go on parental leave. These are flexible working models, models of representation and men in leading positions, who take parental leave.



Spiegl, Julia (2016). Vereinbarkeit von Beruf und familiären Sorgepflichten- latenter Dauerkonflikt. In: Best-Practice des modernen Konfliktmanagements in Unternehmen, Vol. 3, Hrsg. Ferz, Sascha & Salicites Hanna, 1-8.

Based on latest developments (increasing ratio of part-time work, high part-time ratio for women, gender inequalities with regard to unwaged work, slight increase of fathers taking parental leave and a high proportion of unwaged work) the author argues why it is not only necessary but also lucrative for organizations to act family-friendly. On the basis of practical examples it is shown how employers can support parents at work.


Hackl, Marion (2013): Väter und Mütter in (Eltern-)Teilzeit. Motive, Auswirkungen und Reaktionen. Wien: Bundesministerin für Frauen und Öffentlichen Dienst im Bundeskanzleramt Österreich.

In Chapter 4 of this study the focus is on the reactions from the professional and social environment towards parents, who decide to reduce their working hours. Whilst there was one group of parents, who did not have any problems to take parental-part time, there were also parents wo took parental-part time due to their legal rights although their supervisors did not support this decision. These group of parents had to deal with harassment, relocations, exclusion from important appointments and a worse performance evaluation.



Correll, Shelley J., Benard, Stephen & Paik In (2007): Getting a Job: Is There a Motherhood Penalty? In: American Journal of Sociology. Vol. 112, No. 5, 1297-1338.

This experimental study investigates the effect of family status in job applications. The results show that despite of having the same formal qualification, mothers are judged less competent than women without children. In contrast, fathers are judged even more competent than men without children.

Corell et al_2007


Masser, Barbara, Grass, Kirsten, Nesic, Michell (2007): We Like You, But We Don’t Want You’ -The Impact of Pregnancy in the Workplace. In: Sex Roles, Vol. 57, 703–712.

This experimental study investigates if the discrimination already begins in pregnancy and if pregnant women working in male-dominated areas are more affected by discrimination. It is shown that pregnant women are disadvantaged in hiring practices, as despite being rated competent, the participants indicated, that they would rather hire non-pregnant women. There were no differences found between pregnant women working in male-dominated areas and those working in female-dominated areas.

Masser et al_2007


Cuddy, Amy J.C., Fiske, Susan T. and Glic, Peter (2004): When Professionals Become Mothers, Warmth Doesn’tCut the Ice. In: Journal of Social Issues, Vol. 60: 701–18

The study examines the prejudices faced by working mothers and the characteristics attributed to them and shows that mothers are rated warmer but less competent, whereas women without children are rated less warm but more competent.

Cuddy & Fiske_2004


Fuegen, Kathleen, Biernat, Monica, Haines, Elizabeth & Deaux Kay (2004): Mothers and Fathers in the Workplace: How Genderand Parental Status Influence Judgments of Job-Related Competence. In: Journal of Social Issue. Vol. 60, No. 4, 737-754.

This empirical study from the USA investigates how parental status influences the judgement of job-related competence and skills and whether there are differences between mothers and fathers. The results show big gender-specific differences. While mothers are judged more strictly than women without children, fathers are judged more lenient than men without children.

Fuegen et al_2004


Chester, Nefertiti & Kleiner, Brian H (2001): Pregnancy in the Workplace. In: The International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy. Vol. 21, No. 8-10, 137-147.

International comparison of legal protection against discrimination of pregnant women at the workplace with a focus on Europe and the USA.

Chester & Kleiner_2001


Halpert, J. A., Wilson, M. L. & Hickman, J. L. (1993): Pregnancy as a source of bias in performance appraisals. In: Journal of Organizational Behavior, Vol. 14, No. 7, 649–663.

Experimental study (use of video clips) that investigates stereo types about pregnant women and the effect of pregnancy on the evaluation of job-related competence. It was found out that pregnant women are expected to be less committed to their job, overly emotional, irrational and physically limited. Especially from male participants pregnant women received bad ratings Many male participants even argued that pregnant women should not work but stay at home.

Halpert et al_1993