Navigating Work alongside Fertility Challenges: New Horizons in Work-Family Research

IO Colloquium Speaker Series:
Winny Shen, PhD
Tuesday, April 16
3:00-4:00 pm Eastern
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About the research: Existing work-family research typically focuses on how individuals simultaneously manage their current work demands and family responsibilities (e.g., childcare, eldercare). Yet, for many workers their journeys to grow their families are not straightforward due to fertility challenges. Moreover, these experiences are likely to intersect with the work domain because employees may pursue treatment options via benefits provided by their employer, the timing of many treatments are inflexible and occur during traditional work hours, or due to the psychological strains that often accompany a protracted as well as emotionally or physically draining process. Based on in-depth interviews with 33 women in the United States and Canada, we develop a novel typology of how women approach disclosure regarding their fertility challenges in the workplace and explore their differential experiences. Additionally, we offer recommendations for workplace policies and practices to better support this population.

About Winny Shen, PhD: Winny Shen is an Associate Professor of Organization Studies at the Schulich School of Business. She conducts high-impact research and is devoted to teaching in an effort to promote inclusive, productive, and healthy work organizations. Specifically, her program of research, currently supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), centers on three themes: (1) organizational leadership, (2) diversity and inclusion in the workplace, with an emphasis on gender-related issues, and (3) worker well-being, particularly work-family issues and the consequences of workplace understaffing. This work has appeared in leading academic outlets, including the Journal of Applied Psychology, Academy of Management Journal, Journal of Management, and the Leadership Quarterly. She was named a Rising Star in 2016 by the Association for Psychological Science (APS).

Center for Families is celebrating 30 years! This year we look to recognize and celebrate the important work done within families every day, while continuing to enhance research, education, and resources. As part of our celebration have partnered with I-O to bring this research to campus.