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For working parents in the pandemic, a survey finds dads have it easier than moms

A new survey found that working moms were less likely than dads to get promotions and raises and more likely to report that remote work hurt their careers.

WFH

The perks of remote work aren't evenly felt by all, a new survey shows.

Photo: Tom Werner/DigitalVision via Getty Images

Since the COVID-19 pandemic hit, tech companies including Facebook and Twitter have been bullish about remote work, arguing that letting people work from anywhere could open up new opportunities for people who don't live inside the Silicon Valley bubble.

But a new survey by theBoardlist and Qualtrics, shared exclusively with Protocol, shows that the perks of remote work aren't evenly felt by all — especially working moms. According to the data, working moms were more likely than working dads to say working remotely has negatively affected their careers during the pandemic, while working dads were significantly more likely than working moms to say they've recently received a raise, promotion or increase in responsibilities.

The findings, based on a July survey of 1,000 salaried employees who are working or recently furloughed in the United States, align with reports that COVID-19 is prompting the country's first female recession. Women are disproportionately losing their jobs compared to men, and mothers with young children are cutting their hours four to five times more than working dads. While much of that research has focused on how women have had to leave the workforce, theBoardlist's findings illuminate the impact this period has had on parents who are still very much in it.

The survey asked working parents and non-parents how the pandemic affected their productivity. It found that a whopping 77% of men with children at home reported they were more productive while working at home, compared to just 46% of women with children at home.


There were stark differences between the perks, including raises and promotions, that men with children at home received compared to women with children at home.



The dads were significantly more likely than the moms to say they were more productive because they had fewer distractions while working at home. By contrast, the working moms were more likely to say they were less productive because of all of the distractions at home.



Women with children at home also reported more stress during the pandemic than women without children at home: 46% compared to 34%. But despite experiencing more upside working remotely, it was the working dads who reported experiencing the most stress of all. Some 71% of men with children at home reported higher stress levels during the pandemic.

To Shannon Gordon, CEO of theBoardlist, which helps companies find women and underrepresented minorities to serve on their boards, this gap speaks to the fact that women may be more used to dividing their lives between work and child care. "Men are now at home and experiencing that a little bit more," she said. "Like anything new, that can drive additional stress."

Still, while 71% of men said working from home for an extended period would have a positive impact on their careers, only 31% of women said the same.

Curiously, however, working parents of both genders had a far brighter outlook on working from home than people without children at home. More than 68% said that working from home has affected their careers positively; that figure was a slightly lower 57% for working moms. By contrast, 71% of people with no children at home said remote work affected their careers negatively. That may be due to the fact that respondents with no kids at home skewed older, Qualtrics said, and therefore, may have had a tougher time transitioning to remote work.

For theBoardlist, an organization that started with the explicit purpose of getting more women into corporate boardrooms, these stats suggest that as parents take on more responsibility at home in an era of remote work, women will bear the brunt of the consequences. "I recognize the danger of the number of hours we all work correlating with career advancement," Gordon said. "I worry about a widening gap in career advancement between the two genders."

Protocol | Workplace

The pay gap persists for Black women

"The pay gap is a multifaceted problem and any time you have a complex problem, there's not a single solution that's going to solve it."

For every dollar paid to white, non-Hispanic men, Black women are paid just 63 cents, according to the American Community Survey Census data.

Photo: Christine/Unsplash

Last year's racial reckoning following the murder of George Floyd led many tech companies to commit to promoting equity within their organizations, including working toward pay equity. But despite efforts, the wage gap for Black women still persists. For every dollar paid to white, non-Hispanic men, Black women are paid just 63 cents, according to the American Community Survey Census data.

Black Women's Equal Pay Day on Tuesday represents the estimated number of days into the year it would take for Black women to make what their white, non-Hispanic male counterparts made at the end of the previous year, according to the organization Equal Pay Today. And while the responsibility to fix the pay gap falls mostly on companies to rectify, some female employees have taken matters into their own hands and held companies to their asserted values by negotiating higher pay.

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Amber Burton

Amber Burton (@amberbburton) is a reporter at Protocol. Previously, she covered personal finance and diversity in business at The Wall Street Journal. She earned an M.S. in Strategic Communications from Columbia University and B.A. in English and Journalism from Wake Forest University. She lives in North Carolina.

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What comes to mind when you think of AI? In the past, it might have been the Turing test, a sci-fi character or IBM's Deep Blue-defeating chess champion Garry Kasparov. Today, instead of copying human intelligence, we're seeing immense progress made in using AI to unobtrusively simplify and enrich our own intelligence and experiences. Natural language processing, modern encrypted security solutions, advanced perception and imaging capabilities, next-generation data management and logistics, and automotive assistance are some of the many ways AI is quietly yet unmistakably driving some of the latest advancements inside our phones, PCs, cars and other crucial 21st century devices. And the combination of 5G and AI is enabling a world with distributed intelligence where AI processing is happening on devices and in the cloud.

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Alex Katouzian
Alex Katouzian currently serves as senior vice president and general manager of the Mobile, Compute and Infrastructure (MCI) Business Unit at Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. In this role, Katouzian is responsible for the profit, loss and strategy of the MCI BU, which includes business lines for Mobile Handset Products and Application Processor Technologies, 4G and 5G Mobile Broadband for embedded applications, Small and Macro Cells, Modem Technologies, Compute products across multiple OS’, eXtended Reality and AI Edge Cloud products.
Protocol | Workplace

Tech company hybrid work policies are becoming more flexible, not less

Twitter, LinkedIn and Asana are already changing their hybrid policies to allow for more flexibility.

Photo: FG Trade/Getty Images

Twitter, LinkedIn and Asana are all loosening up their strategies around hybrid work, allowing for more flexibility before even fully reopening their offices.

In the last week and a half, Twitter announced it's adopting an asynchronous-first approach, and both Asana and LinkedIn said they would increase the amount of time their employees can work remotely.

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Allison Levitsky
Allison Levitsky is a reporter at Protocol covering workplace issues in tech. She previously covered big tech companies and the tech workforce for the Silicon Valley Business Journal. Allison grew up in the Bay Area and graduated from UC Berkeley.
Power

Activision Blizzard scrambles to repair its toxic image

Blizzard President J. Allen Brack is the first executive to depart amid the sexual harassment crisis.

Activision Blizzard doesn't seem committed to lasting change.

Photo: Allen J. Schaben/Getty Images

As Activision Blizzard's workplace crisis rages on into its third week, the company is taking measures to try to calm the storm — to little avail. On Tuesday, Blizzard President J. Allen Brack, who took the reins at the developer responsible for World of Warcraft back in 2018, resigned. He's to be replaced by executives Jen Oneal and Mike Ybarra, who will co-lead the studio in a power-sharing agreement some believe further solidifies CEO Bobby Kotick's control over the subsidiary.

Nowhere in Blizzard's statement about Brack's departure does it mention California's explosive sexual harassment and discrimination lawsuit at the heart of the saga. The lawsuit, filed last month, resulted last week in a 500-person walkout at Blizzard's headquarters in Irvine. (Among the attendees was none other than Ybarra, the new studio co-head.)

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Nick Statt
Nick Statt is Protocol's video game reporter. Prior to joining Protocol, he was news editor at The Verge covering the gaming industry, mobile apps and antitrust out of San Francisco, in addition to managing coverage of Silicon Valley tech giants and startups. He now resides in Rochester, New York, home of the garbage plate and, completely coincidentally, the World Video Game Hall of Fame. He can be reached at nstatt@protocol.com.
Protocol | Workplace

Alabama Amazon workers will likely get a second union vote

An NLRB judge said that Amazon "usurped" the NLRB by pushing for a mailbox to be installed in front of its facility, and also that the company violated laws that protect workers from monitoring of their behavior during union elections.

An NLRB judge ruled that Amazon has violated union election rules

Image: Amazon

Bessemer, Alabama warehouse workers will likely get a second union vote because of Amazon's efforts to have a USPS ballot box installed just outside of the Bessemer warehouse facility during the mail-in vote, as well as other violations of union vote rules, according to an NLRB ruling published Tuesday morning.

While union organizers, represented by the Retail, Wholesale, and Department Store Union, lost the first vote by more than a 2:1 margin, a second election will be scheduled and held unless Amazon successfully appeals the ruling. Though Amazon is the country's second-largest private employer, no unionization effort at the company has ever been successful.

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Anna Kramer

Anna Kramer is a reporter at Protocol (Twitter: @ anna_c_kramer, email: akramer@protocol.com), where she writes about labor and workplace issues. Prior to joining the team, she covered tech and small business for the San Francisco Chronicle and privacy for Bloomberg Law. She is a recent graduate of Brown University, where she studied International Relations and Arabic and wrote her senior thesis about surveillance tools and technological development in the Middle East.

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