Gendering Work in the UK Voluntary Sector
This seminar examines the ways in which paid and unpaid work is gendered in the UK voluntary sector. In the past few decades, the voluntary sector has grown exponentially and voluntary organisations and the roles within them have become more formalised. At the same time, the sector has developed into predominantly female workplace with ‘feminised’ working practices and structures. This presentation, exploring women’s experience of this work: their career trajectories, motivations and points of entry into the sector, will argue that the voluntary sector is discernibly gendered, and that this has advantages for women (flexibility, autonomy, fluidity) as well as disadvantages (precarity, low pay/status and burnout). These drawbacks become more acute at times when the voluntary sector is under increased financial threat, and a narrative emerges that voluntary organisations need to be more ‘business-like’ in order to survive.