The 2015 theme is Taking the Long View. Image copyright James Millar/TEDxExeter

Work-life balance subject of TedxExeter talk

Professor Michelle Ryan will be taking to the stage at the hugely popular TedxExeter this Friday (24 April) to talk about work-life balance and issues of time and identity.

For the first time, TEDxExeter will be available to watch live via a computer or smart phone. Tickets to the event at the Exeter Northcott Theatre sold out in just two hours last December, so live streaming means those who were disappointed don’t have to miss out.

As always, there is an exciting and varied line up of speakers and performers. The theme this year is Taking the Long View. “We aim to take the long view back into the past, and explore how it has shaped the world we now live in,” said TEDxExeter organiser Claire Kennedy. “We want to ask about what responsibilities the past places on us in the way we live now and how we innovate.

“Much current political, economic and personal decision-making is rife with short termism. We will ask how taking the long view can reveal and help us to understand the challenges we face now, and shape the way we live and the decisions we make.”

Michelle will be talking about work-life balance and questioning whether it really is all about balancing time at work and time at home. She explains: “My research suggests that while time conflict plays a small role in perceptions of work-life balance, feeling a fit between yourself and leaders within your organization or profession, is also an important antecedent. Those who feel they don’t fit in tend to experience poorer work-life balance, because of reduced compatibility between who they are at home and who they are at work and because of lower expectations of success and willingness to make sacrifices.

“These relationships are likely to have particularly negative implications for women, who tend to have lower levels of fit, especially in male-dominated contexts. Further research suggests that the most significant differences between male and female middle managers is that women are less willing to make sacrifices. Importantly, this can be explained by the fact that women are less likely than men to feel that their sacrifices would be rewarded.  Who feels like sacrifice will be rewarded? Those expecting that to succeed in the future, those who have role models and support at work, those who perceive that organizational success is meritocratic.

“This all has implications for how we implement practices to facilitate work-life balance. This is particularly important as processes designed to address issues of time may inadvertently exacerbate issues of identity.”

Michelle’s talk will take place during the afternoon session from 3.45 – 5.10pm.

For the full programme list and live stream visit

Date: 22 April 2015

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