Time Important for Women Employees

April 2, 2002 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - Employers seeking to attract and retain women need to emphasize results and not the hours spent in the office, a consulting firm says.

It’s About Time, a report by WFD Consulting, a Massachusetts firm specializing in human resources issues, said women work eight hours a week more than men because of their additional load of “household tasks.”

The 71 hours women put in each week includes 46 hours on the job and another 25 at home, according to WFD research. That compares with 63 hours for men including 48 at work and 15 at home.

That puts female workers behind their male counterparts at a company that values those who put in endless office hours, WFD researchers said.

Face Time

“When excessively long work hours are treated as evidence of commitment and leadership potential, women are at a disadvantage,” the WFD report said. “Companies where women thrive typically exhibit a fierce respect for time and actively work to define employee contribution in terms of results, not face time.”

The report says executives need to think of women’s advancement chances as a long-term issue by identifying factors affecting women workers and then monitoring and trying to improve on those factors, WFD said.

“Actions taken in the short term are usually remedial, correcting a situation but not necessarily addressing root causes,” the report said. “Companies that ‘stay the course’ find that they can make the important shift from remediation to lasting change.”

The report is based on a study of 750,000 employees in more than 25 companies.

Read the full report .