Work-Life-Career Growth and Gender

Does your home promote workplace growth and career progression equally for all genders?

Balancing our work and life is always challenging. With the competitive and high demanding jobs, we don’t just look for balance but also look forward to progressive career growth. Everyone expects equal opportunity which may take their career to next level. But apart from our capabilities and skill set for the job, are there other factors that impact our career growth? What if our gender has a role? If yes, what can be the solution?

To get an answer, we surveyed the role of gender at the workplace. Such kind of survey is not done for the first time and there have been numerous past surveys on workplace and gender.

But, we did something unique in our survey!!

We extended our questions beyond just the office hours to the household responsibilities. And what made us go beyond office hours? Read further:

Recently, and by recent we mean a time frame of around the last decade, we have seen that organizations are taking seriously gender inclusion & diversity in the workplace.  Many people are against discrimination based on gender and are open to providing equal opportunities to all.

Both men and women have proven that they are equally qualified to take and fulfill their job roles through their education, training, and capabilities.

But in the case of women, even if they are capable enough and organizations are promoting equal opportunities, we have seen that women’s representation in leadership positions and other challenging roles is comparatively low. So what is the root cause which is preventing women to get a fair share of their success?

And this is the reason, we decided to shift our focus from office place to the home. Our survey included questions to bring out office culture as well as the environment at home.

  • Survey demographics
  • Results
  • Recommendations

All said, go through the survey results below and let us know in the comments, what you feel about the results and recommendations.

Please note, the survey was conducted considering normal workdays, not including the recent work from home setup due to the pandemic.

Survey Demographics

The poll was taken by 719 people: 167 women and 552 men.

For both women and men groups, 80% of participants are in the 25 to 40 years age bracket.

Work experience (not shown in the graph) was mostly consistent with age. There is an average lag of 22 years between age and work experience. i.e for 25 years of age, work experience is around 3 years.

The majority of participants are married.

But the stark difference is apparent when we asked about the working status of their spouse.

Almost all married women participants have a working spouse.

In the case of men, the number drops to 68% and for a significant 20% of men, their spouse dropped out of working after marriage.

Survey Results – Related to Work at Office


Work shift. Most of the participants work 9-10 hours shifts in the office.

Now, add in the office work done from home, men are spending more hours working at home.

Look how the graph for men is higher than that for women.

But now, consider household work. Women clearly spend a lot more time in household chores. Look how the peak of the graph is skewed towards the right for women.

Is there any discrimination in providing growth opportunities based on gender?

31% of women think that potential growth opportunities are often not provided to them due to their gender.

In contrast, 12% of men feel that they faced gender discrimination while getting a project.

Mobility and Round the Clock Availability:

Both are considered crucial for career progression.

78% of participants think that being available round the clock for office-related work is considered a major factor for career growth.

This may not be a healthy practice to promote, but with women occupied more with household chores after office (pretty evident from the previous charts), they have a disadvantage here.

Being mobile to move to different cities/countries is also important.

Our survey indicates mobility of 74% of married women is constrained by their partner’s career options.

For men, it’s 42%.

Most of the women need to take a break primarily for maternity care. Women feel that once they resume work, there is a downgrade in their job duties. But a positive aspect is that a vast majority felt that they were able to catch up soon with the help of their colleagues.

But women face discrimination much before they go for maternity leave (or even if they don’t go). We asked the question to people who were in managerial positions or lead roles, if they hesitate to give a good opportunity to a woman colleague thinking she may take maternity leave (i.e. planning for a kid).

What surprised us more was that even women colleagues were apprehensive about this!

Survey Results – Work Related to Home


We asked some basic questions about home management and the results have not surprised us.

Interestingly, 70% of men think that they have split the household work equally. But if we see the overall trend, we will suggest asking your family if they also think the same. Because 90% of women feel that household works are not split equally.

For people who feel that the housework is not split equally, almost all (92%, combined data for women and men participants) feel that the women in the house do more household work. At least we have a consensus here!

How important it is to have a house help? 80% have a house help for cleaning but only 30% for cooking. Cooking is still considered an in-house skill – not preferred to be outsourced!

So does all this impact your office work?

Big story short – Yes it does.

73% of women feel that their household work affects their office work in some form or other. Maybe minor, but it does. Compared to this, 32% of men answered that their work gets affected.

For example (not shown in graphs):

Women feel that when they are late to the office or need to leave early, 75% of this is due to household responsibilities. Men are at 35% in this category.

After work, married women spend 80% of their time on household chores and rest on entertainment (no relax time).

If female members get good support from family members, 78% of them think that it will help improve their office work performance.

Men are not sure about this and 57% of them think that it may or may not have any impact on their career growth.

But the reality is

The previous chart shows that working women seek more support from their family/spouse to balance their work-life.

But in reality, 38% of women felt that even with all their efforts, their family is not fully satisfied with the job arrangement and sometimes expect more!

Work from home special case question:

We asked the participants, about which has become more difficult to manage after work from home got implemented due to the pandemic. 60% of men think that managing home has become more difficult. This is an indication that a lot of men had firsthand experience about balancing office work with household chores, which was previously considered the main responsibility of women.

For women, we got mixed responses with 55% of women feeling that office work has become even more difficult.

Final words

Women do feel that their gender has impacted their careers. At the workplace, even if there is an intention or improvement to promote equal opportunities; it will really get benefitted if we ensure that the household work is equally split. See below the concluding graphs.

Keeping in mind the work assignments, growth opportunities, promotions,

Do you think that your gender has made a difference in your career success?

Keeping in mind your household/family responsibilities and duties,

Do you think that your gender has made a difference in your career success?

The above chart shows combined data for married and unmarried people. We wanted to study the results separately for married and unmarried people but due to fewer data for unmarried people, we couldn’t do it. However,  based on the limited data set, we saw a slightly different trend in unmarried women, which is they don’t find managing home as any significant hurdle in their career. We feel it is due to either of the two:

  • The work-home balance is improving with the new generation probably due to more awareness (we really hope this is true!)
  • Work-home balance gets impacted for women after marriage.


  • Keep encouraging workplace gender inclusion & diversity!


  • Promoting gender inclusion and diversity at the workplace does not mean special treatment. Most of the people (both men and women) are not expecting any special treatment due to their gender. They only expect that everyone should get equal opportunities based on their skill and capabilities without any discrimination.


  • Household work is impacting women more than men, the survey shows this clearly. If any of your female colleagues are struggling to fully meet workplace expectations, there is a high chance (not always, but a high chance) that it may be due to some personal/family reason.

And this may be a major reason that fewer women are rising to the level of leadership or management team.


  • What is the solution for the above? You cannot (and should not) interfere in your colleague’s personal life.

So instead, look at your own family! Whether you are male or female, if there are working women in your family – wife, sister, mother, in-laws – look if they are overburdened with household work. If yes, can you balance it out?

So what benefit will you get at your workplace? Probably nothing.

But let’s hope that if everyone is doing the same, your female colleague will also get benefitted. Yes, we are highly optimistic here, but there is nothing wrong with it!!


  • Break stereotypes across household work. Women are spending more time doing household work but probably much more while thinking about it! Women are assumed to be the in-charge of all household chores. So if the house is messy, food not cooked on time, children not behaving properly, women think (or are made to think) that they are the one who is responsible. These are equal responsibilities of everyone in the family and should never be a criterion to judge others.


  • Keep a house help (no, we don’t have any tie-up with house help providing startup, it’s a genuine recommendation). A lot of families evaluate having a house help considering financial status – whether they can afford it or not.  But if having a house help allows the family to have mental peace, focus more on their office, and have time to relax, it will lead to better career growth and development. This will certainly offset the money spent on house helps in the long run.


If you want to share any of your experiences or suggestions, please let us know in the comments section.

(c) 2021,

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Praveen Tiwari

Mentor and Guide

15 years in EPC | From Concept Phase to Commissioning
Linkedin Creator Alumnus| Top 1% on Topmate

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