Risky Undertakings: The Employment Decision-Making of Women Lawyers and Accountants

Denise Ann Narcisse


This study uses the concept of risk avoidance to analyze responses from in-depth interviews with a group of women lawyers and accountants about their employment decision-making in order to provide a deeper understanding of why and how some women come to choose government employment over private-sector employment. An analysis of interviews reveals that some women perceived work-family conflict, economic precariousness, and fewer protections against employers' arbitrary decision-making as potential risks associated with private-sector employment. To reduce these risks, some women "chose" to work in government rather than in the private sector. This study contributes to existing literature by identifying risk avoidance in employment decision-making as a response to work-family conflict and social class constraints and by illustrating why and how this risk avoidance occurs among some women in elite white-collar professions.
URN: http://nbn-resolving.de/urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs110233


risk avoidance; employment decision-making; work-family conflict; employment sectors; lawyers; accountants

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Copyright (c) 2011 Denise Ann Narcisse

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