Which Sex Gets More Flex-Time Jobs?

by Jaleesa Jones

You would think women would get flex-time jobs because we're the baby-makers and often the primary caregivers in the family. But — get your surprised hats ready — this isn't the case, according to a new study published in the Journal of Social Issues.

Researchers at the Yale School of Management, the University of Texas at Austin, and Harvard Business School found that men, particularly those seeking career advancement opportunities, are most likely to be granted a flexible schedule. In the study, managers were asked how likely they would be to grant flex-time to hypothetical employees. Three employee variables were given: Gender, job status, and reason for requesting a flexible schedule.

Here's how it broke down: Managers were most likely to grant flextime to a man in a high-status job who desired professional development. The second most likely candidate was man in a lower-status, hourly job who wanted time off for childcare. Something's missing here like, oh, I don't know, an entire gender.

Lead author Victoria Brescoll noted the workers most in need of flexible scheduling — women in low-status jobs with childcare needs — were the least likely to be accommodated. Brescoll also observed the corollaries of the inflexible approach taken with these women: Persistence of child poverty, lower productivity, and unnecessary labor turnovers for firms.

That's insult to injury for the fairer sex.