Watch – Health workers and extending working life policy in Ireland: evidence from the DAISIE project.

On March 31, the Whitaker Institute was delighted to host a live webinar titled Health workers and extending working life policy in Ireland: evidence from the DAISIE project. The DAISIE (Dynamics of Accumulated Inequalities for Seniors in Employment) project investigates the gender-differentiated work-life experiences, health and financial outcomes of workers in three occupations aged 50 and over in five European countries. The initial impetus for this project is the introduction of policies designed to extend working life by governments across Europe. The policies were introduced to address anticipated increased state pensions costs associated with demographic ageing. DAISIE explores how older workers in different sectors respond to these policies.

The webinars dialogue was between the P. I. for the Irish strand of the DAISIE project, Dr Áine Ní Léime and Maureen Maloney, Discipline of Management. Dr Ní Léime with Dr Maggie O’Neill presented initial policy-relevant  project findings in relation to Irish healthcare workers. This was followed by an interview between Maureen Maloney and Dr. Nata Duvvury/Dr Aine Ni Leime ( Nata Duvvury is an advisor on the project)  to tease out the work and pension-related policy implications of the studies findings. The study found gender differences in relation to caring and pension-building and found that it is problematic for those in physcially-demanding work to extend their working lives, suggesting the need for policy modification.


Dr. Áine Ní Léime  is Deputy Director of the Irish Centre for Social Gerontology. She has  a PhD in Sociology and Social Policy from the University of Dublin, Trinity College. She is currently P.I. for the Irish strand of an EU (NORFACE) funded cross-national project, Dynamics of Accumulated Inequalities for Seniors in Employment (DAISIE) running from 2018-2021 involving colleagues from the Cech Republic, Sweden, Switzerland, and the UK. While her recent research focuses on gender, employment, pensions and older workers, she has research expertise in creativity and ageing, leisure, volunteering and ageing.
She completed a Marie Sklodowska Curie International Outgoing  Fellowship (2015 – 2018) spending two years in Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio (mentor Professor Dale Dannefer) and a final year at NUI Galway. She was PI of this EU-funded cross-national study entitled Gender, Older Workers and the Lifecourse (GENDOWL) – a comparative, qualitative study on gender and extended working life using an innovative life-course approach. She was Chairperson of COST Action IS1409 a research network: Gender, Health and the impact of Extended Working Life Policies in Western Countries for which she was the main proposer. The COST Action ran from April 2015  to April, 2019.

Dr. Nata Duvvury, an international development expert and feminist economist, has 20+ years of experience in gender, development and empowerment. She has extensive experience with Eurostat and ILO databases for understanding women’s economic participation, wage gaps, and pension gaps to produce relevant reports and papers in the last 10 years. She also has extensive experience in on issues of older working women, focusing on the challenges of older women’s access to pensions and understanding the impacts of European polices to extend working life. She was a Working Group Leader for a COST Action IS1409,  a research network involving 141 researchers from 34 countries examining the Gender and Health impacts of Extended Working Life policies in Western Europe from 2015-19. Her specific role was as leader of Work package 4 on Policy Tools-kits, innovative polices and good practice and produced a series of policy briefs that were presented to the European Parliament.

Maureen Maloney is a Management lecturer at NUI Galway and a part-time PhD student.  Her PhD uses a bounded rationality model and investigates the impact of organisational pension communication for DC schemes on employee pension saving behaviour.  Maureen is actively involved in pension policy debates, organising conferences for the Irish Pension Policy Research Group (PPRG)  and the European Network for Research on Supplementary Pensions (ENRSP).   Maureen’s  research interests include occupational pension schemes, reward systems and pay communication.  Her teaching interests also include Human Resource Management and Communications.Maureen holds a Bachelor of Social Work and an MBA from the University of Pittsburgh.  She completed her H. Dip. Econ. Sc. at UCD and her M. Econ. Sc. at NUIG.  Maureen lectured in Economics at NUIG and Shannon College of Hotel Management.  She worked on a variety of EU funded projects spanning rural development, women in agriculture and business partnership.

Dr Maggie O’Neill is a postdoctoral researcher in NUI Galway. Her recent research focuses on gender and older workers, as well as cultural representations of gendered ageing. She has contributed to the EU (NORFACE) funded cross-national project, Dynamics of Accumulated Inequalities for Seniors in Employment (DAISIE), the ERA Gender-Net Plus Project MASCAGE, analysing social constructions of ageing masculinities and their cultural representations, and is currently Postdoctoral Researcher and Coordinator with the NUI Galway Tax Clinic. She holds a PhD from Maynooth University and has lectured in the University of Limerick and Dublin Business School.