Original Research

Balancing dual roles in self-employed women: An exploratory study

Kirsty-Lee McLellan, Koos Uys
SA Journal of Industrial Psychology | Vol 35, No 1 | a416 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajip.v35i1.416 | © 2009 Kirsty-Lee McLellan, Koos Uys | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 05 March 2008 | Published: 28 April 2009

About the author(s)

Kirsty-Lee McLellan, University of Johannesburg, South Africa
Koos Uys, University of Johannesburg

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This study is aimed at exploring how self-employed women cope in balancing their dual roles as mothers and executives. Through the elicitation of constructs by making use of Kelly’s repertory grid technique, the personal construct system of five self-employed white women in Gauteng across varying industries was established. While being successful dual earners, they still bore the primary responsibility for nurturing their families and assuring their well-being. The successful balancing of their dual roles was attributed to the following central themes, which emerged from all the participants: quality time spent with children and family, structure and planning, coping with guilt, support structures and self-reliance, and balance between work and life.


self-employed women; mothers; executives; work- life balance; family


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