1st Edition

Women in Work in Mid-Life Value, Identity and Perceptions

By Belinda Steffan Copyright 2025
    186 Pages 3 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Drawing on a unique dataset of real women and their experiences of engaging in paid and unpaid work, Women in Work in Mid-Life explores the specific challenges that women in the UK workforce face, including women’s health, pay inequality, gender bias, and the struggle to balance work and family life.

    From pay inequality and gender bias to the struggle to balance work and family life, the experience of women in the UK workforce is complex and multifaceted. We live in an economic climate where the population and workforce is ageing, and the over 50s are encouraged by governments to engage more fully in paid work. However, the path to achieve this is unclear. Through interviews with women in work, as well as an examination of policies and initiatives that can help support women’s career development and encourage workplace retention, it points to a future for this demographic in employment.

    Women in Work in Mid-Life  is an invaluable resource for professionals and policy makers seeking to promote gender equality and create a more inclusive workplace culture in the UK, as well as undergraduate and graduate students in psychology and the social sciences.

    1. Introduction  2. Literature review  3. Research methods  4. Identity work of the ageing body at work: shielding, capitalising and negative self-affirmation  5. Successful ageing: healthy and economic ageing  6. Navigating the ‘older worker’ label through perceptions of ageing  7. Discussion of findings – Study 1  8. Study 2: Understanding Value as Fairness  9. Limiations of the Studies  10. Further Research and Recommendations  10. Appendices


    Belinda Steffan is a Research Fellow at the University of Edinburgh Business School. She researches how psychological and sociological experiences of gender, age and health at work influence continued labour force participation, or specifically, how women work. She is particularly interested in individual differences within the organisational context of work.