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Study: Women Sidelined In Careers By Long Hours

Anecdotal observation tells us that working mothers often drop their careers when their work hours become too demanding. This theory has now been confirmed by a study led by Youngjoo Cha, an assistant professor of sociology at Indiana University. Her research found that once average working hours exceed 50 hours a week, women with children leave their profession at a higher rate than men or women without children. The Atlantic reports:

“Overworkers” make up nearly a quarter (22 percent) of professions that are less than 10 percent women. When she looked at professions that have somewhere between 20 and 30 percent women, about 20 percent of workers put in more than 50 hours a week. Then, when she looked at professions with 70 percent or more women, “overworkers” made up just six to eight percent of those workers.

Cha also created models tracking workers who leave professions. She found that “having children increases overworking women’s odds of exiting male-dominated occupations by 52 percent, as compared to their nonmother counterparts.”

Here again, telework could help. Flexible schedules facilitated by telework would save mothers the time spent commuting and allow them to maintain a presence in the home during the day. They would be able  to complete, say, 10 hours of daily work according to the schedule that best suits their children.

For most companies, the benefits of telework far outweigh the costs. A recent report found that teleworking maintains or improves levels of worker productivity and could save the average worker $4,500 a year. If it can also get valuable women back into the workplace, we’re not quite sure what hesitant companies are waiting for.

[Telecommuting image courtesy of Shutterstock]

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  • roc scssrs

    Work from home! Make big $$$!

  • Berourke

    Not everyone has the self-discipline to work from home and some jobs benefit from constant interaction with fellow employees

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