“Are women less stable employees than men,” the authors ask in “Chapter 2: Diversity in Organizations” in the class textbook Organizational Behavior by Stephen P. Robbins and Timothy A. Judge used in my “Organizational Behavior” class. The authors were also interested in “What about absence and turnover rates?”
The immediate answers for many people are that women are the caregivers and therefore less stable and more likely to change jobs than men. And they are right based on the article “Challenging Conventional Wisdom About Who Quits: Revelations from Corporate America” in the Journal of Applied Psychology (93, no. 1 , pp. 1-34). “…evidence from a study of nearly 500,000 professional employees indicates significant differences, with women more likely to turn over than men.” Additional researchers found that women have higher rates of being absent and are the ones who take time from work if her child is sick or needs to go to a doctor, wait for a delivery person or a vendor like the plumber, etc.
However, the roles women and men play are changing. “The U.S. Census Bureau reported yesterday that “One-Third of Fathers with Working Wives Regularly Care for Their Children” wrote Lance Somerfeld in his blog post at www.NYCDadsgroup.com (Tuesday, December 6, 2011). A quote Somerfeld used stated that “Among fathers with a wife in the workforce, 32 percent were a regular source of care for their children under age 15, up from 26 percent in 2002, the U.S. Census Bureau reported.” The statistics about fathers with preschool-age children was even more interesting: “one in five fathers was the primary caregiver, meaning their child spent more time in their care than any other type of arrangement.”
Somerfeld stated that the recession triggered a significant increase in men staying home (he uses the term “mancession”). But there is also the fact that “fathers genuinely want to spend more time with their children.” Somerfeld’s opinion based on the approximately 500 dads within the NYC Dads Group is that men step in to be the primary caregiver as a choice.
Somerfeld cited another article that brought a new slant to caregiving. Jobless Dads Get Quality Time With Children as Caregiving Rises by Joel Stonington of Bloomberg/Businessweek reports that “The recession isn’t the only reason (that dads spend more time as a partial or primary caregiver). Women are increasingly contributing more to family income than men, and there is a growing desire among men to take part in the lives of their children, according to Ellen Galinsky, president and co-founder of the New York-based Families and Work Institute.”
Fifty percent of women are managers, for the first time there are 18 female CEOs on the Fortune 500 list, and a growing number of women at all levels of companies are making more money than their husbands. The fact that dads want to stay home is refreshing. Mothers are freed up to develop their skills to climb the corporate ladder at one company while dads are able to stay home and care for their children.