Fewer women in top jobs because of limits on working hours
Women are less likely to be promoted to top positions at their jobs because they have more limits on their working hours and therefore more often work part-time, according to a study by social and cultural planning office SCP. Women on average work 28 hours a week, while the top jobs of the corporate world have 50-hour work weeks as the norm, the Volkskrant reports.
"Women with a great part-time job still have a reasonable chance of becoming a middle manager," SCP researcher Ans Merens said. "But if you want to get to the top, you have to work full-time and a bit more."
Last year the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament, approved a binding quota for women in leadership positions. The goal is to have at least 30 percent women on supervisory boards as of 2021. But according to the SCP study, that means something will have to change about how many women work part-time jobs.
And that is not a simple task, professor of economics Janneke Plantenga said to the Volkskrant. "Our entire system is geared to the part-time working woman. School times, childcare, leisure facilities. It is very difficult to break free from that as an individual woman."
Women start off working part-time and get stuck there. According to Plantenga, it is therefore essential that women's labor participation becomes part of the personnel policy, so that managers are forced to reevaluate on this point at every performance appraisal. "When you are 32 and you have two young children, a 40-hour work week may be complicated. But those children grow up. Then it should be possible to break out."
Companies also have to reassess their corporate culture, Plantenga added. "The idea that managers who work overtime for many hours are very ambitious. Mangers are often expected to be the first to arrive and the last to leave." that is an outdated idea of ambition, she said.