The last career transition? A gendered perspective on retirement
Research Handbook of Diversity and Careers
Retirement, understood as a process of final disengagement from the labour market and paid employment, forms the last in the sequence of work experiences that constitutes an individual's career (Atkinson et al., 2015) . If gender is to be understood as an organising principle that separates the public sphere of paid employment from the personal, domestic sphere, then disengagement from the former cannot be regarded as a gender-neutral processraising questions concerning contrasts in the
... asts in the retirement experience of women and men and the impact of retirement on gender relations. Retirement is currently the subject of much debate and discussion; the focus of this chapter is issues raised in these debates concerning agency, identity and gender. The first section provides an overview of the broader context in which retirement issues are debated, before exploring how retirement is being rethought and questioned in the light of these developments. The chapter then explores the interplay of retirement with gender, illustrated with reflections from a group of older UK womenrevealing how they constructed their experiences and expectations in relation to societal discourses of age and retirement. The chapter concludes by briefly considering the implications of this overview of retirement and gender issues for individuals, for organizations and for institutions more widely. CONTEXT -PROLONGING WORKING LIVES The heightened interest in issues surrounding retirement within western industrialised societies arises out of concerns regarding the impact of their rapidly ageing populations on their welfare systems and the adequacy of the resources available to support the 'baby boom'