Magazine article HRMagazine

Managers Show Gender Bias in Views on Work/Life Balance

Magazine article HRMagazine

Managers Show Gender Bias in Views on Work/Life Balance

Article excerpt

Supervisors tend to view their female employees as less able to balance work and life respon- sibilities than their male counterparts, especially in countries with low levels of gender equality, according to a study by researchers at the City University of New York and Man- hattan College.

The study, which surveyed more than 40,000 managers in different industries across 36 countries, found that both men and women tend to judge their own work/life balance simi- larly, but supervisors' perceptions are often based on gender stereotypes

These biases-which are often unconscious-stem from cultural norms that vary from country to country. Bosses in low-egalitarian countries across the Middle East and Asia tend to be harsher when judging female subordinates, while those in high-egalitarian coun- tries such as Denmark, Sweden and the Netherlands tend to judge men and women more equally.

The study ranked the United States ninth out of 36 countries in gender egalitarianism.

The cultural norms that determine bosses' fairness in these rankings are based on how gender roles are perceived in a given country. In low-egalitarian countries such as China, men are expected to play the role of breadwinner while working women are expected to be both breadwinner and homemaker. …

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