Study: Women Working More but Facing Barriers due to Lack of Paid Leave, Overwork


Mothers work 300 more hours per year than they did in 1977, while fathers’ hours at work are broadly unchanged, according to a new Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR) report.

Yet despite the increase in working hours, the report produced by the national think tank says policies have not kept pace with the shifting realities of working families. Gender Inequality, Work Hours, and the Future of Work highlights how overwork and lack of paid time off have created barriers to women’s advancement at work and perpetuated gender inequality at home.

Additional findings from the report include:

  • Mothers work 300 more hours per year than in the 1970s, while fathers work about the same.
  • Almost nine in ten parents who work part-time because of child care and other family-related reasons are women. Women part-time workers outnumber men at each stage of the life cycle; among part-time workers, women are almost as likely as men to prefer working full-time work, but are unable to. Women represent nearly all (92 percent) of workers who work part-time due to child care problems.

The report outlines recommendations to improve time equity between women and men:

  • Offer paid family leave, paid sick days and paid vacation.
  • Improve access to quality part-time or reduced hours work.
  • Increase worker control over the scheduling of their time at work.
  • Discourage extensive overwork and overtime.
  • Provide paid time for employees to upgrade their skills as technology changes.