Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Moms more likely than other employees to leave male-dominated jobs with long hours

Date:
April 24, 2013
Source:
Indiana University
Summary:
As demands for long work hours continue to increase, a new study found that mothers are more likely than other employees to leave jobs in male-dominated fields.

As demands for long work hours continue to increase, an Indiana University study found that mothers are more likely than other employees to leave jobs in male-dominated fields. This trend was not seen in balanced or female-dominated occupations.

"Mothers were 52 percent more likely than other women to leave their jobs if they were working a 50-hour week or more, but only in occupations dominated by men," said Youngjoo Cha, assistant professor in the Department of Sociology at IU Bloomington. "Many of these are lucrative fields, such as law, medicine, finance and engineering."

Her findings, published in the journal Gender & Society, reveal how overwork contributes to occupational segregation and stalled efforts to narrow the gender gap in white-collar workplaces. Many of the mothers who leave these jobs exit the job market entirely because of the lack of suitable part-time positions in these fields.

The study analyzed data collected from the Survey of Income and Program Participation, a national longitudinal household survey, conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau. It included 382 occupations, 173 of which were considered male-dominated, where men made up 70 percent or more of the workforce.

Cha said workplaces dominated by men tend to operate on outdated assumptions about "separate spheres" marriage -- families with a homemaking woman and a breadwinning man. Yet today, both partners are employed in nearly 80 percent of American couples.

Here are more findings from "Overwork and the Persistence of Gender Segregation in Occupations:

  • In male-dominated occupations, overwork was more likely than in balanced fields or female-dominated fields.
  • Mothers in male-dominated occupations were more discouraged despite the fact that the women who survived in those more masculine fields may on average be more committed to work than overworking women in other jobs.
  • Higher education levels make it more likely that women stay in their jobs, but not enough to overcome the discouraging effect of being an overworking mother.
  • Meanwhile, men (whether fathers or not) and women without children were not more likely to leave their jobs in overworking fields.
  • When mothers left their jobs, some moved to less male-dominated professions; others entirely left the labor force.

Cha advocates labor policies that can reduce work-family conflicts and benefit women, men, families and firms. In her article, she recommends promoting workplace policies that minimize the expectation for overwork, such as setting the maximum allowable work hours, prohibiting compulsory overtime, expanding the coverage of the Fair Labor Standards Act's overtime provisions, and granting employees the right to work part-time hours without losing benefits.

More than one-third of men and nearly one-fifth of women in professions work more than 50 hours a week. While men and women have adjusted their ability to share domestic caregiving in recent years, these more extreme situations of overwork demonstrate the limits of the flexibility that men and women often aim for but can't always achieve.

Cha has found in her earlier research that when husbands overwork, it limits their contributions to home responsibilities and restricts the wife's time for work outside the home. When the wife overworks, according to her research, it rarely affects the husband's work.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Indiana University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Y. Cha. Overwork and the Persistence of Gender Segregation in Occupations. Gender & Society, 2013; 27 (2): 158 DOI: 10.1177/0891243212470510

Cite This Page:

Indiana University. "Moms more likely than other employees to leave male-dominated jobs with long hours." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 April 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130424103136.htm>.
Indiana University. (2013, April 24). Moms more likely than other employees to leave male-dominated jobs with long hours. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130424103136.htm
Indiana University. "Moms more likely than other employees to leave male-dominated jobs with long hours." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130424103136.htm (accessed July 25, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Friday, July 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The FDA approved Targiniq ER on Wednesday, a painkiller designed to keep users from abusing it. Like any new medication, however, it has doubters. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Can Watching TV Make You Feel Like A Failure?

Can Watching TV Make You Feel Like A Failure?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) A study by German researchers claims watching TV while you're stressed out can make you feel guilty and like a failure. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
China's Ageing Millions Look Forward to Bleak Future

China's Ageing Millions Look Forward to Bleak Future

AFP (July 24, 2014) China's elderly population is expanding so quickly that children struggle to look after them, pushing them to do something unexpected in Chinese society- move their parents into a nursing home. Duration: 02:07 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Idaho Boy Helps Brother With Disabilities Complete Triathlon

Idaho Boy Helps Brother With Disabilities Complete Triathlon

Newsy (July 23, 2014) An 8-year-old boy helped his younger brother, who has a rare genetic condition that's confined him to a wheelchair, finish a triathlon. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

    Health News

      Environment News

        Technology News



          Save/Print:
          Share:

          Free Subscriptions


          Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

          Get Social & Mobile


          Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

          Have Feedback?


          Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
          Mobile: iPhone Android Web
          Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
          Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
          Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins