OK, time to get accusations of sexism and anti-family bias. Yesterday's headline from the British Psychology Digest had the simple headline:
Childless Women Are The Most Productive
While you pause on that headline, also take into account that there were broadly four groups being compared:
- Women with school-age children
- Women without school-age children
- Men with school-age children
- Men without school-age children
The article was peer-reviewed research in the Journal of Vocational Behaviour. Abstract here.
The study seems quite explicit that women without school-age children are more productive than those with them. The BPS summary suggests this is due to "domestic responsibilities" though of course it presents this as explanation not as endorsement.
The study also seems explicit that men without school-age children are less productive than those with them. It suggests that this result is explained by the stereotype of "breadwinners", where increased family responsibilities required the men to work longer hours to earn more.
But that last line hints at the misleading nature of the headline. By productivity, the study measured it simply by counting billable hours. More hours worked equals more productivity. Perhaps true for lawyers in Canada, but is that generally true in the workplace?
And another implicit message in the headline. Free of childcare responsibility, women are more "productive" than men?