Women Don't Have More Family-Work Conflicts Than Men Do

Assuming this will give women a fairer shot in the workplace.

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By Bonnie Erbe, Thomas Jefferson Street blog

Now here's a study the results of which make me jump up and yell, "huzzah!"

According to the Academy of Management:

Bosses mistakenly believe female workers have more family-work conflict than men do, and that misconception stymies women's careers.

Just last week, I was seething over a different study that seemed to show the opposite. The second study showed that women were increasing, not decreasing, their share of household chores and child care, and that kids are being raised believing Mom does (and therefore should do) more work around the house than Dad.

The Academy of Management study isn't the good news for women that it should be. It says that even though women have less family-work conflict than men, they are perceived by bosses to have more and are penalized in the workplace for it:

A study in the current issue of The Academy of Management Journal reveals that bosses generally perceive women workers to have more family-work conflict than men, even though this isn't the case. And this belief, mistaken though it is, leads supervisors to take a negative view of women employees' suitability for promotion.

The study was performed by analyzing 126 worker-boss pairs who work at a large trucking company. Sadly, female managers were just as likely as male managers to perceive female underlings as less worthy of promotion. So what's the answer?

According to the authors, changing gender stereotypes. So here's my contribution: let's all assume, as these data have shown, that men and women come to the workplace similarly freighted with family responsibilities from here on out.