Empowering Domestic Workers with Jenny Hoobler

Podcast Interview

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Deep dive into the world of domestic work and what it means to empower domestic workers. Whether that’s cleaning, caring or generally working within the home or directly for one person or family, you will have been engaged in domestic work or know someone who is.

The ILO estimates that 75.6 million people are engaged in domestic work around the world, and for women especially it can be an important source of income. But domestic work can be casual, without the support mechanisms many have come to rely on in decent work settings – from holiday and sick pay to safe working environment and safe working hours.

Social Impact Pioneer Professor Jenny M. Hoobler has dedicated her academic life to unveiling the critical role of domestic work and workers in today’s workforce and across all our societies.

Jenny is now the Professor of Human Resource Management and the Academic Director of Leadership for Social Impact Knowledge Center at NOVA School of Business and Economics in Portugal. Her CV and experience include completing her PhD in the USA, and time as a Professor at the University of Pretoria in South Africa. She has consulted for companies such as UPS and USG Corporation and is an associate editor of the Journal of Applied Psychology.

Jenny’s insights into the employer-employee relationship within domestic work reveal a spectrum of experiences, from being the essential glue keeping everything going to exploitation. This episode aims to spark a conversation on the importance of formalising these relationships, ensuring fair wages, and recognising the vital role of domestic workers in supporting the so-called “100-hour couples” of today’s workforce. This conversation is not just about acknowledging the challenges but also about championing change and recognising the profound impact of domestic work on our society.


International Labor Organisation on domestic worker numbers

ILO, Work on diverted mothering

Jenny’s paper on domestic workers being intersectional

IDWFED – International Domestic Workers Federation

Living wage calculator for South Africa

Jenny Hoobler

Nova SBE Leadership for Impact Knowledge Center

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