We are constantly told how to be more productive with our time so we can get more done, but none of these tips have actually accounted for gender differences—until now. A recent Harvard Business Review article highlights two major time-consuming activities that are putting the brakes on women’s careers and preventing their promotion. Despite smashing their to-do lists each day, maintaining a zero-unread inbox, making meetings, and taking calls, women just aren’t reaching the next rung on the ladder. Why? Women simply spend their time differently—personally and professionally. Scroll down to discover the top two time wasters holding us back.
1. We spend more time on household chores.
Women’s household responsibilities are stalling their career progress. In fact, we spend nearly an hour more than men do on household chores, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This means we are also spending less time in the office than men, who spend a half-hour longer per day (8.4 hours to women’s 7.8). Harvard Business Review doesn’t think it’s a “stretch to say that women’s household responsibilities are taking time away from their career development.”
2. Our emotional intelligence is time-consuming.
Women love to collaborate, bounce ideas off each other, be cheerleaders, and boost team morale, but this heightened emotional intelligence (found to occur more often in women than men) is time-consuming, and according to Harvard Business Review, doesn’t “necessarily result in promotions.” Citing a 2015 study from Skillsoft and Eudemonia, the report noted that “women’s time in the office may also be siphoned away from the activities that help people advance.” And this is a trend across the board. HBR reported that “over 88% of female leaders scored high in collaborative leadership skills, the most common leadership attribute we see in our female clients.” So why is this holding us back exactly? Because the “time-suck related to collaborative projects is considerable.”
So if you really want to advance your career, HBR recommends women take action, support your professional progress, and find a way to counteract these differences.
To read more about this study and discover tips to make a change, visit Harvard Business Review.
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Do you agree with these findings? What do you think is holding women back? How can we help women advance their careers? Share your thoughts with us below.