This study explores the gap between policy rhetoric and the reality faced by Korean working mothers, by addressing the following question; whether and to what extent do policy measures for work-family balance contribute to positive work-family interface for working mothers? Although the Korean government has advocated a positive relation between state policy and satisfaction with work-family balance, this is not necessarily the case in practice. To this end, this study focuses on the relative contribution of policy measures to achieve work-family balance reported by working mothers, in relative to traditional gender stereotypes based on Confucian culture as well as working conditions. An empirical analysis with 1,082 Korean working mothers shows interesting findings. First of all, the contribution of policy towards the reported satisfaction in work-family balance is not supported, while the set of traditional gender stereotypes is found to be a negative contributor. Husbands' psychological support for their wives' employment, which seems to strengthen the impact of traditional gender stereotypes, follows. The implications of the findings are discussed in depth, by considering the relationships between policy outcomes and traditional gender stereotypes in Korea.
- Korean working mothers
- State policy for work-family reconciliation
- Traditional gender stereotypes
- Work-family interface