Engage in work-life programs, “work-keeping” tasks, and women’s networks and initiatives.


Image shows the alphabet E in a large size with the word engage written next to it.

What Women Want

  • Acknowledgment and empathy for their work-life demands
  • Shared labor versus a division of labor
  • Support for women’s initiatives and networks

The Problem

According to research from McKinsey & Company, fewer men than women acknowledge the challenges female employees face at work.1 A more complete understanding would help managers better structure work environments and demands, as well as increase retention of female employees.

Women tell me that they constantly must explain, justify, apologize, and ask permission for their work-life demands and priorities. They wish that their managers would keep their life constraints in mind, so they wouldn’t need to remind them continually.

On the other hand, they also say that some managers assume that all family responsibilities are theirs even though many men in workplaces – and increasingly so among millennial men – now share in home and family duties.

Everybody benefits from managers who are attuned to people’s need to balance work and life.

Further, in office environments, it’s common to see women handle what are euphemistically referred to as work-keeping or office-keeping tasks. Similar in nature to housekeeping chores, these tasks include taking notes at meetings, ordering refreshments, planning meetings or events, ...

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