Centre for Rural Research Annual Review 2004 - College of Social ...

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Centre for Rural Research Annual Review 2004 - College of Social ...

…in Somerset you know most of the employment you’re looking at isnational minimum wage whereas you know with the Civil Service andLocal Government you tend to get paid more… There’s a lot of smallbusinesses in Somerset and a lot of them are maybe tourist related soare seasonal you know so they haven’t got that flexibility [that herjob in the Civil Service offers], they’ve got fixed hours you knowbecause there’s not a lot of competing employment and there’s poortransport.The lack of job opportunities locally for the women in Somerset is alsoillustrated in the quantitative survey data on the location of women’semployment. As Table 4 shows, women in this case study area were travellingfurther to get to work than those in other places. Local working is a feature ofwomen’s economic activity that distinguishes them from the work life of theirspouses (who tend to work further away). In North Devon the patterns of workwere even more highly localised with greater numbers of women walking towork than in any of the other three areas; 60% of women worked either in theirown villages or in local centres, with only 2% working outside North DevonTable 4: Location of women’s employmentLocation of respondent’semployment% of respondents in employmentWiltshire Cornwall SomersetLocally (within 5 miles) 60 56 29Within the County 16 40 54Further afield 22 4 17Total 100 100 100Source: Little and Morris, 2002; Morris and Little, 2004Some interviewees discussed the lack of choices available for women living inSomerset and argued that it was for this reason that there is limited transitbetween jobs; why women work for the same employer for a relatively longperiod of time. As one, Gabrielle, remarked:I think you have got to make the organization work for you and tryand find the best type of job you know a little niche in thatorganization that you can develop to be happy with.9

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