IOE - Faculty of Education and Society


Examining work-family decision-making processes at the transition to parenthood

05 March 2024, 1:00 pm–2:00 pm

Parents shopping with child. Image: Gustavo Fring via Pexels

Join this event to hear Clare Stovell discuss how first-time parents think about and approach constraints to sharing, and make decisions about care, paid work and balancing the two.

This event is free.

Event Information

Open to







Alison Lamont


Room G03
55 Gordon Square

Since the advent of parenthood is a catalyst for increasing and long-lasting gender inequalities, much research investigates why heterosexual couples adopt traditional, gendered divisions of household labour (or otherwise) at this time.

Clare's research draws on interviews with 25 heterosexual couples taking place across the transition to parenthood and beyond and explores how first-time parents in the UK negotiate the division of parental leave, paid work and childcare. Analysis centres on parents’ accounts of obstacles to sharing, the ways in which these constraints are experienced in practice and how perceptions of constraint shape decision-making processes.

She will point to varied, gendered experiences of constraint as potentially assumed, surmountable and/or subjective, broadening understandings of parental leave and flexible working practices from both an academic and policy perspective.

This in-person event will be particularly useful for those interested in parental leave research, work-life balance, care and gender inequality.

Related links

About the Speaker

Dr Clare Stovell

Lecturer in Sociology of Gender at TCRU, UCL IOE

She is an interdisciplinary researcher whose interests lie in the intersections of gender, work and family.

Her research to date has focused on the impacts of European COVID-19 policy from a gender+ perspective; divisions of domestic labour; part-time working distinctions; fathering practices; and welfare support for older jobseekers.

More about Dr Clare Stovell