There’s new research showing that managers believe women experience more work/life conflict than men. Women employees in the study actually reported less conflict. The study, conducted by researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago and appearing in the Academy of Management Journal, says the belief is held by men and women managers alike, who then see the women as less worthy of promotion.
Women who know about this misperception may think twice about using company-sponsored work/life balance programs like telecommuting—and rightly so. “As long as managers buy into that stereotype, women who take advantage of programs like on-site child care or flextime or paid time-off for parenting are only undermining their prospects for advancement in their companies,” says Professor Jenny M. Hoobler, one of the authors of the study. “What we’re talking about here, I expect, is one of the subtle, entrenched forms of discrimination that make up the glass ceiling.”