Unfortunately, whether women with children choose to leave the office early, or work longer hours, their colleagues are likely judging them either way. According to researchers, colleagues of women who clock out of work early think “she’s probably off to pick up her kids,” while male colleagues who leave work early “must be meeting clients.” Due to this assumption, bosses frequently choose men over women when making travel assignments, which “can block skilled workers from advancing,” according to Robin Ely, a Harvard Business School professor. The study also showed that “virtually all interviewees — men and women — reiterated some version of the ‘work-family narrative’ … women’s (but not men’s) devotion to family impedes their ability to put in the requisite hours, and their careers suffer as a result.” Women in the study expressed concerns that choosing to put in the “requisite hours” at work may be choosing to be a bad parent, while men expressed guilt for spending time away from family. Ely concludes that “progressive family-friendly policies, like paid maternity leave and sick days, simply aren’t enough to quash gender inequalities in work culture,” since women are more likely to take advantage of these policies, potentially damaging their chances of advancing in the workplace.
Read the full story at The Washington Post.