Adamson, M., Muhr, S. L., & Beauregard, T. A. (2022). Theorising work–life balance endeavours as a gendered project of the self: the case of senior executives in Denmark. Human Relations, 00187267211073309.

Recent work–life balance (WLB) studies offer considerable insight intothe challenges and strategies of achieving WLB for senior managers. Thisstudy shifts the focus from asking how to asking why individuals are soinvested in pursuing a particular kind of WLB. Through analysing 62 lifehistory interviews with male and female senior executives in Denmark, wedevelop the concept of the gendered project of the self to theorise WLB. Weshow how for the executives, WLB was not simply an instrumental process oftime or role management; instead, pursuing WLB in a certain way was a keypart of acquiring and maintaining a particular desired subjectivity or asense of self as a better person, better worker and better parent. We arguethat theorising WLB as the gendered project of the self allows us toexplicate the mechanisms through which gendered social and culturalexpectations translate into how male and female executives can and want topursue their WLB goals – first by driving one’s desire for WLB and, second,by shaping and restricting what is desired. In doing so, we highlight theimportance of scrutinising the role of broader WLB discourses in shaping theexperience and uptake of organisational WLB policies.