Men now spend more time on household chores

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MUMBAI: In what could go a long way to shatter stereotypes – and perhaps even bridge the gender balance in the workplace – a survey found that 35% of men have started spending more time on housework after the pandemic.
With a hybrid work model now becoming the norm and a large number of people working from home, an Avtar study on the division and dynamics of tasks in Indian households reveals a 22% increase in the number of men who have spent 4 to 5 hours doing chores around the house. This is a clear sign that the burden of carrying out these tasks, which was otherwise the sole responsibility of women, is now starting to be shared.
More than 300 professionals (43% of metropolitan cities and 57% of level 2 and 3 locations) were asked about their contribution to the ubiquitous 3Cs of cooking, cleaning and care. Inequalities remain quite marked, however, especially for working women. Among dual-income couples, too, there is an uneven distribution of time spent on household chores. Among married respondents, 33% of women spent 4 to 5 hours per day in such activities compared to 3% of men. Age demographics have a big role to play. Up to 83% of the Millennial population spend the same amount of time (2-3 hours) doing housework with their partners. However, only 56% of Gen X spend the same time in such activities, which have been shared equally with their partners.

Organizations have a role to play in ensuring that household chores are evenly distributed among partners. Avtar Founding Chairman Saundarya Rajesh said: “To foster a culture of alliance, it is important for organizations to engage their employees to be allies in all spheres of their lives. And what better time to do so than the post-Covid recovery phase, when the lessons from the most VUCA (volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity) moments of our lives are still fresh with us. ”
The alliance is a culture that some organizations are building to overcome gender stereotypes through workshops and aggressive outreach. Ruchi Bhalla, Country Manager and Vice President of Human Resources (APAC) at logistics technology company Pitney Bowes, said: “The pandemic has affected us all in different ways while highlighting existing inequalities. It has also served to increase awareness of the “power of allies” and the role that organizations can play in amplifying alliance and inclusion on a daily basis. Many women find it more difficult to reorient their careers and to claim their right to go out to work. Households have become dependent on their presence. The true alliance is about everyday action and inclusion. Allyship at work will also help reset at home.
Bhalla said that one of the ways organizations can practice alliance is by coaching leaders and people managers to raise awareness to foster organization-wide engagement and a proactive approach to create a inclusive work culture. “Allies need to be aware of the role they can play every day to make a difference, both at work and at home, in their day-to-day lives. It’s about letting people know that organizations recognize them as a whole – as parents, spouses and caregivers, beyond their roles as employees, ”said Bhalla.
Aditya Mittal, Acting CHRO of Citi India, said: “We help people to be fully dedicated to work and therefore we strive to make people more sensitive in the workplace which in turn can translate into their home life. Building a network of strong male allies enables the institution to harness the true potential of a diverse talent base. Inclusive recruiting workshops, respectful workplace training and unconscious bias are all held regularly at Citi to ensure all employees raise awareness and build an inclusive culture. The examples provided in these workshops go beyond work scenarios, making it possible to become aware of the unconscious prejudices of everyday life.
According to the Avtar report, 31% of millennials said they shared the load roughly equally at home, spending 2-5 hours doing housework with their partners. About 91% of those polled with children said that household chores are not divided on the basis of gender in their household. After the pandemic, with the confusion between work and home, and a growing awareness of intentional inclusion, Avtar predicts that the dynamics of division of labor in Indian households will shift, albeit slowly, towards more equal territory. .
“Inclusive companies offering creative solutions to increase gender parity in their workspaces have seen an increase in the participation of women in the labor market. Now that the country is recovering from the aftermath of Covid, the Omicron variant poses a new threat. India today needs a gender-friendly recovery. We need systems and policies to include men in the conversations by providing equitable care options, a development process to strengthen gender parity in the workplace, ”said Rajesh.
According to 2014 OECD data, the gender gap in drudgery in India was 300 minutes / day (the average time that an Indian woman spends on the 3Cs is 352 minutes / day, while ‘a man spends 52 minutes / day).

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