and stretch assignments.
Maternal bias - Motherhood triggers assumptions
that women are less competent and less committed
to their careers. As a result, they are held to higher
standards and presented with fewer opportunities.
Ultimately, working harder and longer may exacerbate the myths and further contribute to the Work-Life balance contest.
Tomorrow is Another Day
In the battle to find time for physical and mental
health and fitness activities, work usually ends up coming first, and life needs are neglected or perpetually
postponed until tomorrow. The result is often failing
health and energy, contributing to failure to address
the priorities of work and at home.
The ‘Women in the Workplace’ study found that
employee programs are plentiful in a majority of the
companies represented in the study, but, to a great
extent, many women and men do not use them.
Employees who participate in work flexibility, wellness,
and career-development programs reported that they
were beneficial; however, except for telecommuting,
employee participation in flexibility programs was low.
For example, less than two percent of women
and men participate in part-time programs, but those
who do found them highly beneficial. There was also
evidence that employees were reluctant to participate
for fear of being penalized. More than 90 percent of
both women and men believed taking extended family leave would hurt their position at work and more
than half believed it would hurt them a great deal.
Employees of companies that do not offer beneficial programs and independent contractors or
entrepreneurs face the challenge of mustering the
self-discipline to maintain wellness activities.
Tips for Better
No two professional women are identical, and no
two family or relationship situations are identical. Determine what balance looks like for you now, and, be
sure to revisit your assessment when you experience
Work-Life balance does not necessarily mean that
the hours you spend engaged in professional activities
are perceived and treated by management, cowork-
ers, and subordinates, however, may influence them to
perform differently than they would in the absence of
the apparent perception and treatment.
Competition among employees can be healthy because it can encourage employees to strive for higher
job performance; however, in their efforts to discredit
the myths and misperceptions, women may overcompensate, and an overly competitive workplace can be
According to the Women in the Workplace
study, 10 women experience different playing fields than
men. The study concludes that women are almost four
times more likely than men to think they have fewer
opportunities to advance because of their gender—
and they are twice as likely to think their gender will
make it harder for them to advance in the future.
The study points to four identifiable areas of bias
between men and women in the workplace. Each of
the areas of bias, according to the study, contribute to
women’s behavior or the perception of their behavior
with management, coworkers, and subordinates. As
a result, a woman can face penalties in the workplace
like missing out on hiring or advancement opportunities and salary increases, either because she is perceived to be performing inadequately, or because she
modifies her behavior to acquiesce to the bias and
then becomes ineffective.
Likability - Success and likeability are positively correlated for men and negatively correlated for women,
creating a double bind for women. Being ‘nice’ is
correlated with less competence for women. When a
woman asserts herself, she is often called “aggressive,”
“ambitious,” or “out for herself.” When a man does the
same, he is seen as “confident” and “strong.”
Performance evaluation - Male performance is often
overestimated compared with female performance,
especially in domains traditionally dominated by men.
Performance attribution - Women are generally
given less credit for successful outcomes and blamed
more for failure. Men typically attribute their own success to innate qualities and skills, while women often
attribute theirs to external factors such as “working
hard,” “getting lucky,” or “help from others.” Because
women receive less credit—and give themselves less
credit—their confidence often erodes and they are
less likely to put themselves forward for promotions