Juggling is for circus clowns but unfortunately, it has become an activity that far too many professional women have had to master. Maybe we aren’t juggling bowling balls or chainsaws (yikes!) but we are spending our days in a non-stop cycle of trying to juggle work responsibilities, family obligations and community involvement; not to mention leisure activities and fun (if we have any energy left that is).
The fact of the matter is that, as women, not only are we still paid less than our male counterparts, we also rate lower in satisfaction when it comes to things like career fulfillment and a happy home life. In fact, a recent study found that men are consistently found to be 25% happier on the job than women and 8% happier at home.
What gives ladies?? Why the discrepancy between our job satisfaction and happiness at home and men’s?
As a strong willed, self-empowered and success focused female, it is difficult for me to admit when I find something that men seem to do better than women; however, as I did my research for this post, it became clear to me that there is something that the fellas really do seem to be better at…juggling.
Study after study shows that women on average spend more time engaged in non-paid, domestic work than men–even when both parties hold down full time jobs. Research shows that in the “average” american home (with a husband and wife who both work full time), women do 62% of the laundry, 56% of the cooking, 53% of the household cleaning and 61% of the grocery shopping. The data also shows that men are 35% more likely than women to take a break and relax and 25% more likely to engage in leisure activities that they enjoy (golf, TV viewing, video games etc.) In short–men appear to be better at finding a balance between their professional and personal lives.
This “juggle struggle” that women seem to be losing is one that should not be ignored. The World Health Organization estimates that 35% of work related stress cases result in prolonged mental health issues. Additionally, 87% of women (and men) surveyed say that an imbalance between work and leisure affects their physical health in a negative way. EIGHTY-SEVEN PERCENT! These physical ailments include (but are not limited to) headaches, weight gain and depression, and end up costing employers nearly three billion (yes that’s billion–with a B) dollars a year in lost productivity due to absences.
So…what can be done about this? Is it possible to truly find a work-life balance? I think that the answer to this question is yes,