Navigating gender imbalance: mostly women take on holiday planning at work

women take on holiday planning at work

In the bustling world of modern workplaces, a stark reality prevails: women often find themselves carrying a disproportionate load of social responsibilities.

According to a 2023 poll by She, Her, Hers, a research division of Abacus Data, in partnership with The Honest Talk, 36% of women in the workforce feel the weight of additional social duties compared to their male counterparts. Surprisingly, this imbalance isn’t just a whispered concern among women —vit’s recognized by a solid 22% of working men, too.

36% of women in the workforce feel the weight of additional social duties compared to their male counterparts.

This gender-based workload discrepancy is unfortunately not shocking, but needs to change,” said Catherine Clark, Co-founder of The Honest Talk.

It’s not just about career growth but about creating a level playing field within organizations.

Catherine Clark

Women miss out on growth opportunities

The repercussions of this imbalance are far-reaching. Women shouldering extra social responsibilities often find themselves on the losing end of career support, according to the poll. They miss out on vital feedback and growth opportunities, hindering their chances at promotions and salary increments.

“From our research, it’s crystal clear: women often bear a heavier load of social responsibilities at work. It’s time for organizations to take notice and take action. Balancing these scales isn’t just about fairness; it’s about creating a workplace where everyone has an equal shot at success. Let’s make work a level playing field for all,” said Oksana Kishchuk, Director, Strategy & Insights at Abacus Data and She/Her/Hers.

Beyond personal career arcs, this disparity also casts a shadow over workplace culture, employee satisfaction, and overall organizational performance. When talent is stifled because of uneven responsibilities, innovation takes a hit, impeding progress.

To redress these trends, organizations must take proactive steps. Rethinking task distribution, fostering a culture where opportunities are equal for all, and providing robust support systems for career growth are crucial.

It’s ridiculous we still live in a society where planning and party organizing primarily fall to the women in the office, rather than being a joint team-effort,” said Jennifer Stewart, Co-founder of The Honest Talk.  “Policies promoting diversity and fairness in career development are not just essential but non-negotiable. Leadership plays the main role in eradicating biases and creating a space where equity thrives.”

Individual contributions matter too. Advocating for fair task allocation and supporting colleagues irrespective of gender are small steps that pave the way for a more equitable workplace.

Read about: Building confidence and overcoming imposter syndrome: tips from Canadian women

At The Honest Talk and She/Her/Hers, we think it would be great to start seeing a change in 2024. Bridging the gap in social responsibilities isn’t just about fairness; it’s about unlocking potential unhindered by gender-based constraints.

By acknowledging and addressing these disparities, organizations can cultivate an environment that fosters growth and innovation for all. It’s not just a shift in workload; it’s a move towards a more inclusive and successful future.

She/Her/Hers is a research practice dedicated to exploring how the lived experiences of Canadians, their behaviours, and attitudes are gendered. The study explores a range of subject areas that inform what it’s like being a Canadian woman today – from home life, to work life, to finances, to consumer behaviour. To learn more about the study please reach out to: [email protected] To purchase the She/Her/Hers study please reach out to: [email protected] 

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