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Men and Women and Time Off

There’s an interesting new survey out from Aquent, the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth, and Work+Life Fit. It brings some evidence to the question: Can women get away with more than men?

The researchers surveyed 495 men and women professionals, and also 190 executives with responsibility for hiring, recruitment, and retention at their firms. One finding: 68% of women and 58% of men said the would consider leaving the workplace for a period of time. Women ranked parenthood as the top reason they would leave the workforce (70%); for men, “avocation or life outside of work” was the most common reason, at 59%.

Here’s the key, though: “While men are almost as interested in taking a break as women (59% versus 70%), they are hesitant because they believe women are more likely to be granted a break from the workplace. 75% of men said that employers are more likely to say “yes” to a woman requesting a leave of absence from work. In addition, 85% of men said that employers are more likely to say “yes” to a person with children requesting a leave of absence from work.”

Yet the survey of corporate managers belied that assumption. “While a majority of individuals felt companies were more understanding of women (63%) and people with children (77%) taking career breaks, less than half of hiring managers said they were more understanding of women (41%) and or more understanding of those with children (44%).”

Do those findings jibe with your experience? What’s the reality in your workplace? Is it easier for women to get time off–or do men just think so?

FCS