Do Women Get a Fair Shake at the Office?
A new study finds sexism is very much alive in the workplace, both in New Jersey and across the nation.
Researchers at Boston University found both men and women feel pressured by the demands of their jobs, but men tend to lie more about how long they've been working on a given task. Men also manipulate professional and personal relationships with colleagues for their benefit, while women are more likely to put in official requests for flexible hours or other accommodations.
As a result, men get higher workplace reviews, and women get lower reviews for essentially playing by the rules.
"When it's a woman making a request for an accommodation, it's automatically assumed that she's doing it to take care of a kid or something like that, and the perception is, she's not as committed to her job," said Teresa Boyer, executive director of the Center for Women and Work at Rutgers University. "Whereas, when a man might make that request for a schedule change or something like that, the assumption is not usually that lack of commitment to the job."
According to Boyer, women frequently do get flagged by their bosses for not being as committed to work as their male counterparts, which is troublesome.
"If a company is going to have a policy on the books that allows for flexibility, but in the end it seems to harm the women in particular who opt for those policies, then that's clearly not a functioning policy," she said. "Managers need to do a better job of making sure, if there's a policy on the books, it's open and accessible and used by both men and women."
Boyer said this is a problem across the board, but particularly in high pressure job situations that demand long hours.
"As more and more women go into high pressure, demanding jobs, you're seeing a lot more pressure to make accommodations for work and life, but we haven't yet figured that out in our workplaces," Boyer said. "We need to change culturally. We need to change in the workplace."