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The gender stigma of work-life balance (WLB) policies as concessions for mothers and female caregivers originated with the push by the Women’s Movement for gender workplace equity in the late 20th century. Unfortunately, this perception continues in the 21st century and retains the additional stigma of employee participation in these policies–—regardless of gender–—as a detrimental career move. Thus, home and work responsibilities for professionals of all genders who desire more occupational flexibility remain unreconciled. Despite this dominant national and international outlook, this article encourages new century organizations and profes- sionals to reject the traditional perception of occupational inequity through gender- colored glasses and instead contemplate the benefits of WLB policies void of gender stigmas. Specifically, organizations could re-create workplace culture with stigma- free WLB policies through administrative leaders’ embracement of and participation in such policies, which may pave the way for establishing occupational equity. Through workplace culture re-creation, organizations may then offer employees–—regardless of gender, marital status, or company position–—flexible work options to assist them in leading happy, healthy, and more productive lives.

Publication Date



Business Horizons


Gender stigma; Work-life balance (WLB); Workplace culture; Workplace culture re-creation


Business Administration, Management, and Operations | Higher Education Administration

Shedding Gender Stigmas: Work-life Balance Equity in the 21st Century