One of the excuses made for there not being more women in C-level positions or national politics, or behind the camera of film crews, etc, is that women often choose at some point in their career, to put family first. Maybe for a few months, maybe for a few years. But because of this, they have a little less experience than their male counterparts.
And it's true. Women are more likely than men to pause or dial-down a career in favor of family. In the case of film, the fact that the projects are all-consuming for a year or two on average means that fewer women are willing to take on the roles of producer and director.
Why PepsiCo CEO Indra K. Nooyi Can't Have It All
"If you ask our daughters," she said in a frank interview on work-life balance, "I'm not sure they will say that I've been a good mom."
The U.S. ranks near the bottom of developed nations in rating work-life balance. Long hours and lack of guaranteed time off, especially paid family leave does disproportionally effect women, and drive them out of the workplace. It contributes to the fact that we have fewer women participating in the workplace than most developed nations. http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2013/05/28/2066501/the-us-ranks-ninth-to-last-in-work-life-balance/ Note that it's not just children. Women are also more likely to be the primary caregivers for aged relatives, and this is a growing issue.
But here's why that's not a good excuse. Right here. Because the failure
of business to allow work-life balance hurts us all. Men may be more
likely to choose career at the expense of relationships...but that
doesn't make it a right or healthy way to function.
This CEO Quit His Job After His Daughter Gave Him A List Of All The Moments In Her Life He Had Missed
“As much as I could rationalise it – as I had rationalised it – my work-life balance had gotten way out of whack, and the imbalance was hurting my very special relationship with my daughter.”
It's not just a personal issue; it effects our entire economy. Businesses can benefit from greater flexibility in hours and location. They tend to get stuck on the idea of everyone being in the same place at the same time, but the advantages of flexibility are often poorly understood by executives.
per research summarized by Deloitte, these include
(i) Lower turnover
Case studies documented an increase from 75 percent to almost 90
percent in retention rates, decreased turnover rates and positive
(ii) Reduced absenteeism
program which allowed workers to distribute their working hours across
the day without changing the total numbers worked in a day showed a 20
percent reduction in absences.
(iii) Healthier workers
Workplaces that allowed their workers more
control over their work time increased employees' sleep quality and
energy, and reduced psychological stress.
(iv) Increased productivity
In a study of over 700 firms researchers found a significant positive
relationship between work-life balance practices and productivity.
Considering that research has linked workplace flexibility practices
to greater profits and organizational value, including an increase in stock value, it's surprising that so many companies still view these things as costly or risky. Offering greater flexibility with working hours and locations, paid leave, and generally encouraging people to find balance with their lives tends to make companies more stable, productive and profitable. There is no notable downside.
Workplace flexibility is a feminist issue. It's also a cultural issue, and a family issue, and an economic one.