Impact of COVID-19 on the Work-Life Balance of Working Mothers: Evidence from the Nigerian Academics

Akanji, Babatunde and Mordi, Chima and Ajonbadi, Hakeem Ajonadi and Adekoya, Olatunji David (2022) Impact of COVID-19 on the Work-Life Balance of Working Mothers: Evidence from the Nigerian Academics. Personnel Review. ISSN 0048-3486

Accepted Paper - COVID 19 and Working Mothers in Academics.pdf - Accepted Version
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Purpose – Given the limiting gender role conditions arising from the prevalence of patriarchy in Nigeria and the shift to workers staying at home due to the deadly spread of COVID-19, this article explores the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the work-life balance of professional mothers using the work-home resources model as a conceptual lens.
Design/methodology/approach – The qualitative data is based on telephone interviews with 28 married female university academics with children.
Findings – Our findings reveal that the confinement policies enforced due to the need to combat the spread of COVID-19 and patriarchal norms deeply embedded in the Nigerian culture have exacerbated stress among women, who have needed to perform significantly more housework and childcare demands alongside working remotely than they did prior to the pandemic. The thematic analysis showed a loss of personal resources (e.g. time, energy, and income) resulting in career stagnation, health concerns, and increased male chauvinism due to the abrupt and drastic changes shaping the ‘new normal’ lifestyle.
Research limitations/implications – The study relies on a limited qualitative sample size, which makes the generalisation of findings difficult. However, the study contributes to the emerging global discourse on the profound negative consequences of COVID-19 on the lives and livelihoods of millions, with a focus on the stress and work-family challenges confronting women in a society that is not particularly egalitarian – unlike western cultures.
Originality/value – The article provides valuable insights on how the COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically affected professional working mothers in the Sub-Saharan African context, where literature is scarce.

Item Type: Article
Identification Number:
1 February 2022Accepted
1 March 2022Published Online
Uncontrolled Keywords: Nigerian academics, working mothers, work-life balance, spread of covid-19
Subjects: CAH17 - business and management > CAH17-01 - business and management > CAH17-01-02 - business studies
Divisions: Faculty of Business, Law and Social Sciences > Birmingham City Business School
Depositing User: Hakeem Ajonbadi
Date Deposited: 02 Feb 2022 11:42
Last Modified: 22 Mar 2023 11:48

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