A common misperception in the U.S. is that time off needs to be earned, deserved, and sacrificed for.
Have you ever felt guilty about taking your (hard-earned) sick or vacation days? If so, you aren’t alone. According to a recent Zippia survey of 214 job seekers, 61.3 percent of Americans feel guilty about taking time off work and women are 20 percent more likely to feel guilty about taking time off work than men.
For women in particular, it’s often difficult to shake the anxiety that comes with enjoying time with your family on vacation or taking a long weekend to “do you.” Not only do workplace dynamics contribute to this pattern, but for women shouldering the majority of caretaking responsibilities, a working mother’s vacation time is often a shared asset – used for family needs like kids’ doctor appointments, attendance at school events and emergencies.
Sociologists Elizabeth Gorman of the University of Virginia and Julie Kmec of Washington State University recently conducted a study to explore how women feel they need to work harder than their male counterparts.
In short, women feel they must prove themselves for leaders to see them as competent. Gorman and Kmec eventually concluded that women feel the need to work hard because they simply don’t get as much credit as men do.
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