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Work-life balance of women teachers in West Bengal.

Introduction

India has experienced a sweeping demographic, social, economic and technological change during the past decade. These changes have had, and still continue to have a major impact on the worklife balance of Indian employees, especially on the female teacher's life.

There are significantly higher numbers of earning couples in India now than before. Their numbers are increasing day by day because both boys and girls expect that the spouse should have a good job. They know that one single income is not enough to run the family smoothly (Saha & Dey, 2014). Work and family, together, play a significant role in their lives and their maintenance together is a challenge. Personal life can be more demanding if they have kids or ageing parents. Women have a greater role to play in a family life. All over the world, irrespective of family structure and culture, women are the primary caterers for domestic and childcare responsibilities. They have to discharge the responsibilities of child bearing and rearing as they try to build their careers. But today no educated and working women want to leave their job for child bearing and rearing. In India, young women take help of their mothers or mothers-in-law to take care of their baby when they are at work. Sometimes they are also forced to take help from a helping hand (Aya or nanny). But their minds remain busy with their babies at home. They enquire about their babies through phone calls for giving necessary instructions, from time to time. When a baby falls sick or needs mother's attention, they take leave from the working place and stay at home. The pressure of work and child rearing responsibilities sometimes become their nightmare. Yet they dare not leave the job. Jobs are scarce in the Indian market. They try their level best to maintain both of their responsibilities. Those who are careerists remain unmarried or delay in embracing motherhood.

Owing to economic reasons, the family structure has changed dramatically. Nowadays, the concept of a single child or nuclear family is having its roots in most of the cities in India. As a result, large numbers of female children are getting themselves enrolled in schools and colleges. They are equally competing with their counterparts in all spheres of life. The conservativeness of the Indian society is diminishing very rapidly. Indian organizations are opening their doors for women employees, which were unthinkable even a few years back.

The profession of teaching is the most favored among Indian women. The provisional data indicate that in secondary and senior secondary levels women teachers were 42.61 percent and 49.08 percent respectively during 2013-14. These figures were 37.77 percent and 39.33 percent in 2010-11(Govt. of India, 2014).

Work-life balance may be expressed as the absence of conflict between work and family, or between personal roles. In contrast, work-life conflicts occur when involvement in one area i.e. work or personal life interferes with the other. Working women balance their emotional, behavioral and time demands in both the spheres of life, simultaneously.

Review of Literature

India is a country of 1.32 billion people as of May 3, 2016 (Indiaonlinepages, 2016). According to the 2011 Census, female literacy rate was only 64.60 percent whereas male literacy rate was 73.0 percent (Govt. of India, 2014). This indicates that India is still a parochial society where male and female children are not treated equally. This cultural barrier has held back the development of female child in Indian society. But the scenario is changing very rapidly. After globalization, large numbers of girls are coming into the job market every year. They are taking all sorts of courses and professions which were unthinkable a few years back. But most favorable area for them is teaching profession. It may be a school, college or university. In our society, teaching is considered a noble profession especially for women. Generally, on an average a teacher is engaged in his or her job around eight hours (6 hours in school + 2 hrs commuting) per day and six days a week. Overwork is a universal problem for teachers all over the world. It is affecting them not only in India but also in Canada, United Kingdom, New Zealand, Hongkong, Sweden and the United States (The ATA, 2012).

It is well established in the social science literature that interference between work and non-work responsibilities has number of negative outcomes on the part of the employees. Employee attitudes towards job reveal that high levels of both work-to-life and life-to-work conflicts have lower levels of job satisfaction and organizational commitment (Burke & Greenglass, 1999; Kossek & Ozeki, 1998). It also reflects in the behavior of employees which includes reduced performance, work effort and increased absenteeism and turnover (Anderson, Coeffey & Byerly, 2002; Aryee, 1992, Frone, Yardley & Markel, 1997; Wayne, Mussisea & Fleeson, 2004). Both work-to-life and life- to-work conflicts are also associated with stress and burnout (Anderson et. al. 2002; Kinnunen & Mauno, 1998), cognitive difficulties such as staying awake, lack of concentration and low alertness (MacEwen & Barling, 1994), and reduced levels of general health and energy (Frone, Russel & Barnes, 1996).

The spill-over effects of job satisfaction and life-satisfaction suggest that life at work and outside work of people are in mutual relation and that satisfaction with work can influence an individual's satisfaction with life in general and vice-versa (Bass & Bass, 1976). Research also focused on the spill-over effects of stress on working mothers (Barnett & Marshall, 1992) and dual-earner couples (Barnett, 1994). Unlike soft-ware industry, where flexibility of work is a norm, in teaching job there is no such opportunity. According to Duxbury and Higgins "our inability to balance our jobs and our home life is costing corporate Canada as much as $10-billion a year due to absenteeism, lost output, lower productivity, missed deadlines and grumpy customers" (Mekenna, 2012).

Objectives

In teaching profession, work-life balance has become more and more challenging in to-days' world. The work load of a teacher not only demands their time in the institution but also extends to their home so as to get prepared for the following day apart from checking student's assignments, maintaining their records and attending to various institution related functional requirements. In this context, the present research seeks to find out the:

i. Factors that affect the wok-life balance of secondary school teachers in West Bengal

ii. Support they receive from their personal and professional life

iii. Influence of biographical variables on factors that derived from the factor analysis

Methodology

The questionnaire used in the present research consisted of two parts: the first consisted of questions regarding socio-biographical variables of the respondents and the second consisted of eighteen questions regarding different aspects of difficulties they face and opportunities they enjoy in work-to-family and family-to-work situations. A five-point Likert scale with anchors using strongly agree (5), fairly agree (4), do not know (3), fairly disagree (2) and strongly disagree (1) were used. The respondents were requested to tick where their feelings were more appropriate. The data was collected from the B. Ed. students who have joined a private college in West Bengal for their professional degree in 2015. Some of them are employed as a teacher in Government aided schools and some of them are fresh graduates or post-graduate degree holders. It is a two years full time course. Those who are employed take leave from their respective institutes to attend the course. The sample size for present research is 130. Socio-demographic variables such as age, marital status, and number of children, experience and residence were considered in this research.

To measure the attitudes of teachers towards the work-life balance, factor analysis was carried out. Factor analysis is a multivariate statistical procedure which reduces a large number of variables into a smaller set of variables. The form of factor analysis used was principal component analysis with Varimax rotation. To justify the factor analysis, Kaiser-Meyer-Olkin (KMO) test for sampling adequacy and Bartlett's test of Sphericity were used. A series of analyses of variance (ANOVA) were conducted to find out the relationship of the socio-biographical variables with the factors derived from factor analysis.

Socio-demographic Characteristics

The social demographic characteristics of the respondents are presented in Table I. The majority of the students (53.85 %) belong to the age group of twenty five to thirty four. Around 18.0 percent of them belong to the age group of thirty five to forty four. Majority of the teachers (61.54 %) are married whereas only 38.46 percent are unmarried. Among the married teachers, 41.54 percent have one child and 2.31 percent have only two children. Others i.e. around 18 percent of the teachers are not enjoying motherhood yet. It reflects the nuclear family norms in West Bengal.

Majority of the teachers (54.62 %) have two to six years teaching experience. Only 18.46 percent of teachers have seven to eleven years experience. Around 27 percent have no teaching experience. Fifty seven percent of the teachers live in urban areas whereas 43 percent live in rural areas. Again 59.23 percent of the teachers are employed in Government aided schools. Around 50 percent of the teachers mentioned that it takes one to two hours for commuting whereas 14 percent mentioned that it takes more than two hours for commuting.

Results & Discussion

To find out the factors which affect the work-life balance of secondary school teachers, factor analysis was carried out. Bartlett's test was significant (Chi-square=771.858, p < 0.000) and Kaiser-Meyer-Olkin (KMO) test was 0.684 which justify the factor analysis (Malhotra, 2007). Factor analysis produces six components from eighteen variables which are capable of explaining the observed variance. The Eigen values of all the components, the variance explained by each component and the cumulative variance were calculated by SPSS which are presented in Table 2.

To determine how many components to retain, several procedures have been suggested to consider such as Eigen values, Scree plot and percentage of variance (Malhotra, 2007). The Eigen value approach suggests that only components with Eigen values greater than one are retained. The present study indicates that only six components have Eigen values greater than one. The first component accounts for 24.841 percent of variance, while the second, third, fourth, fifth and sixth components interpret 12.005 percent, 8.870 percent, 7.920 percent, 6.613 percent and 5.867 percent respectively. They together contribute 66.116 percent of the total variance. All the remaining components are not found significant. In our study, variables ten, eleven, twelve, thirteen, fifteen and seventeen correlate and combine with component one after rotation because of their common nature. The component may be labeled as 'no personal life due to job and family related pressure'. Among 22 to 30 years of age, significant number of educated women gets job from campus placement and their own initiative. Generally, during the same period of time majority of them get married; enjoy motherhood but at the same time bear pressure on maintaining work-life balance. Sometimes, the demands of work and family responsibilities become too much to bear. They are found to be easily distracted by family while at work (Parasuraman, Greenhaus & Granrose, 1992). Women in India experience considerable pressure in the morning before going out to work and after work (Rout, Lewis & Kagan, 1999). They shall have to do all necessary work for the family. They do not expect any help from husband and husband also does not think he has any role to play in this regard due to the parochial nature of the society. The research work by Peter et. al. (2005) indicates that pressure from the two domains become incompatible which create imbalance in life. Indian society at large, considers taking care of the family is women's principal responsibility regardless of their employment status.

Component two is related with variables one and two and maybe named as 'colleagues are very supportive & cooperative '. In working situations friendship builds up among the colleagues with similar attitudes and cultural values. They provide all sorts of support and co-operation during family problems. This bonding is more among the women employees.

Component three is related with variables seven, sixteen and eighteen and may be labeled as 'sometimes feel to leave the job due to family-to-work and work-to-family conflict'. Even in western countries, women who are highly carrier oriented are less likely to marry and less likely to have children and when they do, they are likely to have fewer children (Friedman & Greenhaus, 2000) due to family-to-work and work-to-family pressures. Highly qualified women professional (37 percent) in America leave their job at some point on their career highway voluntarily to child bearing responsibility. This statistic goes up to 43 percent (Hewlett & Luce, 2005) among women, who have children. In India, where job opportunity is very much limited, no women will dare to leave their job for child bearing and rearing responsibilities and want to come back later in the job market.

Component four is related with variables three, five and six and may be named as 'head of the institute is very much indifferent about my family related problems'. As a head of the institute, he has to man the classes without interruption. For this reason, he becomes indifferent about the teacher's family problems. Any sanction of leave depends on the head of the institute. He sanctions leave considering alternative arrangements of the classes and other relevant duties, bearing in mind that students should not suffer due to the absence of a teacher.

Component five is related with variables four, eight and nine and may be named as 'economic independence gives me respect and status in my spouse's family'. Nowadays, educated women are not willing to play the typical housewife's role as before. They are coming out in large numbers as a workforce from all walks of life to substitute the family income, to have better life and to be economically independent. An educated and employed woman today expects mutual respect, cooperation and trust from her spouse and his family. They do not like to compromise their career for their filial responsibility (Saha & Dey, 2013).

Component six is related with variables three and fourteen and may be read as 'relationship with spouse suffers due to long hours of work'. Apart from seven hours sleep, she gets around eight hours in her hand to take-care her baby/children, family members and husband. In an ideal situation, she may get around three hours in the morning and four to five hours in the evening to take-care of the above mentioned aspects. She gets too less time to spend with her husband due to her multiple roles that require time and involvement. As a result, relationship with spouse suffers. To maintain and achieve the work-life balance active support from the husband is crucial for the secondary school teacher in her life.

ANOVA Analysis

A series of analysis of variance (one-way ANOVAs) were performed to investigate the relationship between socio-demographic variables and the components derived from the factor analysis. Socio-demographic variables such as age, marital status, children and tenure of the job, residential areas and commuting time were considered in the analysis. Only significant one was presented in the Table 3.

A one-way ANOVA analysis allows us to test whether several means are equal across one variable and this is done by analyzing the variance. In our study, women teachers with their different background characteristics differ significantly in their opinion on 'no personal life due to job & family related pressure' (Component-1), 'sometimes feel to leave the job due to family-to-work and work-to-family conflicts' (Component-3) and 'relationship with spouse suffers due to long hours of work' (Component-6). On the contrary, they do not differ in their opinion on 'colleagues are very supportive and co-operative' (components-2), 'head of the institute is very much indifferent about my family related problems' (components-4) and 'economic independence gives me respect and status in my spouse's family' (component-5).

In the context of 'no personal life due to job & family related work pressure', there is difference of opinion between teachers who have children and who does not have children and also who resides in urban and rural areas. Young teachers without children do not have any experience about the difficulties and pressure the working mother face due to child bearing and rearing. In India, young working mothers manage child care responsibilities with the help of her own mother or mother-in-law and a helping hand (Saha, 2011). In rural areas, most of the families are extended in nature. They get help from other family members regarding childcare and running the household activities. Urban families are nuclear in nature and they shall have to bear the child rearing responsibilities and at the same time to take the burden of running the household activities. As a result they do not get enough time for themselves.

In the context of 'sometimes, feel to leave the job due to family-to-work and work-to-family conflicts', there is difference of opinion between teachers with different age groups, marital status, with children or without children and commuting. Sometimes the pressure they get from house hold and job becomes too much to bear. During that time it comes to their mind of leaving the job. But the young unmarried teachers may not feel the same way. Because they are living with their parents and their parents are taking care of the household activities. Long travelling time everyday is boring and monotonous. Those who have the responsibilities to take care of their baby/ children and elderly parents become frustrated due to this time consuming commuting.

Again, in the context of 'relationship with spouse suffers due to long hours of work', there is difference of opinion between teachers with different age groups, marital status, with children or without children and tenure. Due to long hours of work for family and job, they get very little time in their hand to spend with spouse. Young secondary school teachers with very few years of job experience get frustrated not having enough time to spend with spouses.

Child-care Facilities

The sample was divided into two groups of teachers. One group of teachers was considered with children. Another group of teachers (single/married) was considered with no children. A specific question was asked regarding the attitudes towards child-care facilities to both of these groups of teachers. Chi-square test was carried out taking the frequency distribution of the sample to test the null hypothesis that teachers with children and without children do not have different opinions regarding the child care facilities. During chi-square analysis two adjacent columns were merged together due to very low frequency (< 5) in one cell. So it became 2 x 4 cells and the degrees of freedom became three. The results indicated that there is a significant difference of opinion between these groups of teachers regarding child care facilities. Those who are without children do not realize the gravity of mother's concern regarding her baby when they are in the child care facilities. The result is shown in Table 4.

Conclusion

A sea change has come over in the family structure, values and lifestyle in India due to globalization, industrialization and the available technological advantages. Women are making their way into the realm of workforce from different spheres of life, breaking the traditional social values and norms. Due to economic reasons, the society is accepting these changes. Communities and families prefer that their daughters should have a job. Teaching, in India, is considered to be a noble profession, especially for women.

Indian parents seek their daughters to be married in time and hence, being settled properly. She may get married before getting the job or even after getting it. She has to play a very important role in her life: of child bearing and rearing. Subsequently, she has to take on to herself, the responsibilities of running a family and also of taking care of their elderly parents. The new and expanded role puts a lot of pressure on her time and energy. Sometimes, she experiences pressure from her spouse and in-laws to quit the job. When the pressure becomes unbearable, she thinks seriously whether she has to leave the job at being torn apart by this family-to-work and work-to-family conflicts. The support and co-operation she gets from her colleagues in working situation helps to balance the work-family conflicts. The economic independence she enjoys due to her job brings respect and status to her spouses' family and society at large. She tries to manage work and home problems with the help of her mother or mother-in-law and sometimes also from a helping hand. ANOVA analysis suggests that teachers coming from different social backgrounds differ in their opinion regarding component one (no personal life due to job & family-related work pressure), component three (sometimes feel to leave the job due to family-to-work and work-to-family conflicts) and component six (relationship with spouse suffers due to long hours of work). On the contrary, they do not differ in their opinion regarding component two (colleagues are very supportive and co-operative), component four (head of the institute is very indifferent about family related problems) and component five (economic independence gives me respect and status in my spouse's family).

Women teachers of secondary schools in West Bengal have to manage and meet their societal role expectations, their career-oriented ambitions, and job pressure, to achieve the work-life balance. To achieve them all effectively, they need active support from their spouse and the family.

References

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Amal Krishna Saha (E-mail: amal.saha.07 @gmail.com) is Associate Professor & Sumita Chaudhuri (E-mail: sumitac529@gmail.com) is Assistant Professor in Pailan College of Management & Technology, Kolkata 700104. Sharad Soumya Mazumdar (E-mail: sharad.majumdar@gmail.com) is Human Resource Specialist, Accenture Operations, Logitech Park, Mumbai 400088.
Table 1 Characteristics of the Respondents

Characteristics          Sample               Frequency    Percentage

Age                      < 25                        36         27.69
                         25-34                       70         53.85
                         35-44                       24         18.46
Marital Status           Single                      50         38.46
                         Married                     80         61.54
No. of Children          None                        73         56.15
                         One                         54         41.54
                         Two                          3          2.31
Experience in teaching   No experience               35         26.92
                         2-6 years                   71         54.62
                         7-11 years                  24         18.46
Residential areas        Urban                       74         56.92
                         Rural                       56         43.08
Nature of employment     Govt. aided school          77         59.23
                         Fresh candidate             53         40.77
Commuting time           < one hour                  48         36.92
                         1-2 hours                   64         49.23
                         > 2 hours                   18         13.85

Table 2 Rotated Component Matrix

Variables                                              Components

                                                 1        2          3

1. My colleagues are very supportive and              0.863
co-operative while I need some time off
due to my family problems

2. My colleagues would fill in while I am             0.819
absent

3. My job or career interferes with my
responsibilities at home (such as child
care, shopping, cooking etc.)

4. I am too tired at work because of the
things I have to do at home

5. The supports I get from the head of the
institute during my family-related
problems are commendable

6. My head of the Institute is very much
indifferent about my family related
problems

7. Sometimes, I feel to leave the job due                      -0.754
to family-work and work-to-family
conflicts

8. I know, it is not easy to get another
job due to the scarcity of the job in the
State

9. Employment gives me economic independence
which gives me respect and status in
my husband's family

10. There is no time-flexibility in my job   0.587

11. There is no paid special leave to care   0.678
for dependents in our Institutes

12. There is no unpaid special leave to      0.619
care for dependents in our Institutes

13. I do not get enough time to relax or     0.672
socialization due to my work pressure

14. My relationship with my partner is
suffering due to my work pressure or
long hours of work

15. I do not have any personal life due to   0.736
job related and family related pressures

16. Most of us are dependent on our                             0.736
mother-in-law or a helping hand to care
our baby while we are at work

17. I know, I shall have to compromise       0.597
my career progress with my child bearing
and rearing responsibilities

18. Being a working mother, it is very                          0.585
difficult to look after a baby in a
nuclear family

Eigen values                                 4.471    2.161     1.597
% of Variance                                24.84    12.00      8.87
Cumulative variance                          24.84    36.84     45.71

Variables                                              Components

                                                   4       5        6

1. My colleagues are very supportive and
co-operative while I need some time off
due to my family problems

2. My colleagues would fill in while I am
absent

3. My job or career interferes with my        0.594             0.572
responsibilities at home (such as child
care, shopping, cooking etc.)

4. I am too tired at work because of the               0.557
things I have to do at home

5. The supports I get from the head of the    0.656
institute during my family-related
problems are commendable

6. My head of the Institute is very much     -0.773
indifferent about my family related
problems

7. Sometimes, I feel to leave the job due
to family-work and work-to-family
conflicts

8. I know, it is not easy to get another               0.600
job due to the scarcity of the job in the
State

9. Employment gives me economic indepen-               0.749
dence which gives me respect and status in
my husband's family

10. There is no time-flexibility in my job

11. There is no paid special leave to care
for dependents in our Institutes

12. There is no unpaid special leave to
care for dependents in our Institutes

13. I do not get enough time to relax or
socialization due to my work pressure

14. My relationship with my partner is                          0.670
suffering due to my work pressure or
long hours of work

15. I do not have any personal life due to
job related and family related pressures

16. Most of us are dependent on our
mother-in-law or a helping hand to care
our baby while we are at work

17. I know, I shall have to compromise
my career progress with my child bearing
and rearing responsibilities

18. Being a working mother, it is very
difficult to look after a baby in a
nuclear family

Eigen values                                  1.426    1.190    1.056
% of Variance                                  7.92     6.61     5.87
Cumulative variance                           53.63    60.24    66.11

Component 1 : No personal life due to job & family related pressure

Component 2: Colleagues are very supportive & co-operative

Component 3: Sometimes, feel to leave the job due to family-to-work &
work-to-family conflict

Component 4: Head of the institute very much indifferent about my
family related problems

Component 5: Economic independence gives me respect & status in my
spouse's family

Component 6: Relationship with spouse suffers due to long hours of
work

Note: Extraction method: Principal Component Analysis
Rotation Method: Varimax with Kaiser Normalization

Table 3 Demographic Variables & Their Relationships with Components
(ANOVA Analysis)

Component--1 vs. Children & Residence

Children         Sum of square     df   Mean square        F      Sig

Between Groups         403.389      2       201.695    4.682    0.011
Within Groups         5470.888    127        43.078
Total                 5874.277    129

Residence

Between Groups         229.204      1       229.204    5.197    0.024
Within Groups         5645.073    128        44.102
Total                 5874.277    129

Component--3 vs. Age, Marital status, Children & Commuting

Age              Sum of square     df   Mean square        F      Sig

Between Groups          20.117      3         6.706    3.550    0.016
Within Groups          238.007    126         1.889
Total                  258.123    129

Marital status

Between Groups           9.056      1         9.056    4.654    0.033
Within Groups          249.068    128         1.946
Total                  258.123    129

Children

Between Groups          25.262      2        12.631    6.889    0.001
Within Groups          232.861    127         1.834
Total                  258.123    129

Commuting

Between Groups          17.451      2         8.726    4.604    0.012
Within Groups          240.672    127         1.895
Total                  258.123    129

Component--6 vs. Age, Marital status, Children & Tenure

Age              Sum of square     df   Mean square        F      Sig

Between Groups          46.346      3        15.449    4.780    0.003
Within Groups          407.262    126         3.232
Total                  453.608    129

Marital status

Between Groups          62.700      1        62.700   20.531    0.000
Within Groups          390.608    128         3.054
Total                  453.608    129

Children

Between Groups          53.998      2        26.999    8.581    0.000
Within Groups          399.610    127         3.147
Total                  453.608    129

Tenure

Between Groups          52.017      3        17.339    5.440    0.002
Within Groups          401.591    126         3.187
Total                  453.608    129

Significant at 0.05 levels

Table 4 Attitudes towards Child Care Facilities (Chi-square Analysis)

Question                 Sample     Strongly    Fairly    Do not
                                       agree     agree      know
I am afraid to keep my   Having           21         8        10
child in a child-care,   child          (15)       (9)      (22)
because I am not sure
of their quality of
services

                         Single &         12        13        41
                         married:       (18)      (12)      (29)
                         no child
                         Total            33        21        51

Question                 Sample     Strongly    Total
                                    disagree
I am afraid to keep my   Having           18       57
child in a child-care,   child          (11)
because I am not sure
of their quality of
services

                         Single &          7       73
                         married:       (14)
                         no child
                         Total            25      130

[chi square] (df = 3, N = 130) = 24.07, p > 0.05
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Author:Saha, Amal Krishna; Chaudhuri, Sumita; Mazumdar, Sharad Soumya
Publication:Indian Journal of Industrial Relations
Date:Oct 1, 2016
Words:5536
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