Can a Working Mom Have It All? Yes, But She’d Have To Play Dirty Like Her Male Co-Workers
Male employees may seem like the “ideal” workers in corporate America, but the truth is that just know how to play dirty. Women, on the other hand, are not coming out on top because they just don’t know how to work the system, Salon reports.
A new study surveyed 115 employees in a high-end consulting firm, all of them slammed with stressful demands including around-the-clock availability and long hours. But while both men and women found the work culture taxing, the gentlemen coped with the demands in a slightly more cunning manner in comparison to the ladies.
“…Many men at the firm fudged the numbers to make it seem like they were working more hours than they really were. They also used their professional relationships to schedule meetings at convenient hours and benefited from coverage provided by their colleagues,” Salon wrote.
Women faced the same challenges, but did not finagle their way through the system. Women were more likely to file for official, rather than informal, requests for flexible hours and other accommodations. As a result, women received poorer performance reviews and were marginalized in the company.
Even though men worked relatively the same hours as their female counterparts, they made it seem like they put in a lot more time on the job by fibbing the hours they spent on the clock. In this way, “men were able to make time for work, family and leisure while still living up to the ‘ideal worker image,’ Salon said.
“..Many men found unobtrusive, under-the-radar ways to alter the structure of their work (such as cultivating mostly local clients, or building alliances with other colleagues), such that they could work predictable schedules in the 50 to 60 hour range,” lead investigator Harry Reid, professor at Boston University’s Questrom School of Business, wrote. “In doing so, they were able to work far less than those who fully devoted themselves to work, and had greater control over when and where those hours were worked, yet were able to ‘pass’ as ideal workers, evading penalties for their noncompliance.”
Women, on the other hand, made their demands overtly, which nibbled away at their perceived performance on the job.
So yes, women can “have it all.” She can be an outstanding employee and mother, but she’d have to excel in office politics to compete with her male counterparts.