Executive Women: Designing Quality of Work Life in the Public Service




Confreda, Sara

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The purpose of this report is to gain a deeper understanding of quality of work life (QWL), particularly for women executives in the public service. The study is exploratory, focused on identifying factors that contribute to a positive QWL and how this population group would improve and design their QWL. A literature review is conducted of relevant literature on QWL, providing a history of the concept and frameworks researchers used, and factors that are considered important to employees and women. An original conceptual framework was developed from the relevant literature that focuses on different areas of QWL and was implemented into the interview guide. Fifteen interviews were conducted with women executives in the public service to gather their experiences and thoughts on QWL. Interview findings were analyzed using thematic analysis and grounded theory to identify key themes. Participants discussed many aspects that were important in their QWL and considerations for improvement. They considered work impact, relationships, autonomy, flexibility, and open work environment to be important. When asked how they would improve their QWL, they suggested improving the sustainability of their work-life balance and better prioritization in their organization. Implications of the research are addressed, and recommendations are provided based on the themes identified in the literature and interview findings.



quality of work life, work-life balance, public service, executive women, career advancement