Just published by the Daily Mail:
There is, of course, no recognition in the article – written by a female journalist, what are the chances? – of the impact on men of having to compensate for the lower hours typically worked by female colleagues with children. Three photographs are associated with the article – one of an exhausted woman in her car, one mother – a toddler on her lap – working at a computer, and a man eating a takeaway pizza whilst watching TV. The message seems to be, ‘Women working, men shirking’. Who picked those photos? Laura Bates?
There’s the predictable denial of a link between hours worked, and output:
Helena Morrissey, chairman of Opportunity Now and chief executive of Newton Investment Managers, said: ‘The survey responses show an uneasy tension between women who don’t have children and those who do. Two-thirds of non-parents feel they are expected to work longer hours than those with children – while at the same time, there’s a widespread view that those who work flexibly will progress less quickly than their peers, even if their contribution is similar.’
‘These findings suggest that flexible working isn’t working. One group feels resentment, the other feels less valued. Overcoming this tension is entirely possible – but companies need to measure output, not hours worked, and radically reassess working practices.’
Experts believe the resentment could be caused by workers feeling under pressure to achieve and blaming others for their own failings. Social psychologist Dr Sandra Wheatley said employers could settle disagreements between parent and non-parent workers by focusing on the end results of tasks rather than the time spent on them.
Helena Morrissey says, ‘These findings suggest that flexible working isn’t working’. The woman’s a genius. She also informs us that ‘companies need to… radically reassess working practises’. Or maybe… here’s a crazy idea… they don’t need to?
Morrissey was the founder of The 30% Club, an organisation with the sole objective of increasing the proportion of women on major corporate boards, although we’ve presented her and countless others with evidence showing a causal link between increasing the proportion of women on boards, and declines in corporate financial performance. A third of FTSE100 chairmen are members of the club. What could possibly go wrong?