In every country around the world, women (even full-time working women) spend more time on average on household responsibilities than men. A 2016 Statistics Canada report found that women still do 50% more unpaid work at home than men, and that women reported being less satisfied with their work-life balance. Research shows that gender norms contribute not only to greater expectations of women at home but also impact their ability to take advantage of family-friendly policies at work.
Below, we’ve curated a collection of our best research and insights on this subject.
The damaging effects of gendered views on work-life balance
This study explores how men and women think about work-life balance and how these narratives impact family-friendly policies in the workplace. Specifically looking at STEM workers in the oil and gas industry, the study identifies how employees express their desire for work-life balance, and how those desires are articulated, or not, to their employers. The study finds significant differences in how men and women conceptualize balance but also finds that both men and women are unmotivated to push their employers for policy changes, albeit for different reasons. As a result, current policies intended to support work-life balance for men and women, such as flex-time arrangements, may only support the careers of men with traditionally gendered family arrangements.
Meet a Fellow: Rachael Goodman on work-life balance
In this video, Postdoctoral Fellow, Rachael Goodman talks about her research in India and how she’s using it to reframe the conversation around work-life balance by showing that it is not so much about individual efforts to “have it all,” as it is about families redistributing responsibilities for work at home.