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Gender and employment flexibility in 4 and 5 star hotel front offices in the United Kingdom

Bird, E. and Ingram, A.M. and Lynch, P.A. (2002) Gender and employment flexibility in 4 and 5 star hotel front offices in the United Kingdom. Services Industries Journal, 22 (3). pp. 99-116. ISSN 0264-2069

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Abstract

This article describes a study of the contemporary nature and extent of gendered employment flexibility within hotel front offices in the United Kingdom and Ireland. Previous studies in the service sector have tended to focus upon the career paths of female managers and generalised findings across the service sector. The study reported is concerned with staff at an operative level and uses the front office as an exemplar of a department with an even gender balance overall in order to examine flexible working practices. The study finds that, in the hotel front office, female employees are usually better qualified, with greater opportunity than male employees for functional flexibility; the majority of female employees are under 30 years of age. The findings are compared with previous studies and discussed in the context of female career progression, and service organisations' approaches towards the creation of a work/family balance.