In a sense, the care and maintenance of the family in society is the responsibility of the woman and therefore a careful balancing act is of vital importance.
Organizational responses to work-life issues vary according to the type of employer in the organization in which the employee works.
Paid employment conflicts with the family environment in a number of ways, intruding significantly on the leisure aspect of family life, but also attempting to balance the commitments of work and the family leads to stress trying to balance different aspects of individual’s lives.
To a certain extent therefore, work and family commitments are incompatible with one another as hours of work detract from time available for the family and vice versa.
The study of occupational stress centers on stress at work.
Stress is defined in terms of physical and physiological effects on a employee whether this be mental, physical or emotional strain.These are transmitted through organizational culture formally in the form of organizational policy and informally through supervisors and coworkers.Essentially this gauges the value and support available for work-life integration with the objectives of the organization.Simultaneously however, there is a stable support for conservative values underpinned by societal norms and traditions based on Saudi religion and culture.Therefore there is increased support for improved job performance in sectors that are not traditionally considered the realm of the female employee, because of the longevity required in order to develop a successful career path, such as academic jobs.At the same time however, women are empowered to follow these career paths whilst still maintaining traditional values perpetuated by religion and culture that hold dear family values and the moral ethos of the female as the matriarchal centre of the family nucleus.There exists therefore a stress on female academic employees in Saudi Arabia which is multifaceted.Islam does not prohibit women from entering paid employment whenever there is a need for it, particularly in positions, that suit their feminine nature and in surrounding Gulf countries, the place of women in academics has been encouraged particularly in foundation phase education.Previous research has indicated a number of unique and shared factors that help Saudi women maintain a balance between life and work (Bahkali, 2012).Whilst the private sector may be more persuasive to globalization and increased female quotas in these organizations, the public sector of Saudi Arabia represents a more traditional set of values which are deeply rooted in religion and culture which historically do not recognize the role of females in these organizations.Arguably therefore female academic employees in the public sector will feel these burdens in a more pronounced manner than their private sector counterparts.