Thrasher, G. R., Wynne, K., Baltes, B., & Bramble, R. (2022). The intersectional effect of age and gender on the work–life balance of managers. Journal of Managerial Psychology, (ahead-of-print).

Purpose

Although there is a small body of empirical research on the working lives of managers, both the popular media and the academic literature tend to ignore the distinct ways that role identities such as age and gender intersect to create a complex work–life interface for diverse managers. This gap is especially surprising considering that managerial roles are defined by unique demands and expectations that likely intersect with the differential life course shifts experienced by men and women, which has the potential to create specific challenges across the work and life domains of managers. The current study aims to address this gap through an intersectional examination of the non-linear effects of age and gender on the work–life balance of managers.

Design/methodology/approach

Using a sample of 421 managers, the authors apply statistical tests of the incremental validity of non-linear interaction terms to examine the complex relationship between age, gender and work–life balance.

Findings

Results support a non-linear U-shaped main effect of age on leader work–life balance. This effect is moderated by gender, however, with a non-linear U-shaped effect of age on work–life balance being supported for male managers – with female managers displaying no effect of age on work–life balance.

Practical implications

Based on these findings, the authors highlight the need for increased availability of flexible schedules and employee empowerment for managers as well as general employees.

Originality/value

The current study offers one of the first tests of the intersection of age and gender on the work–family interface of managers.