Women work longer than men

It's official: women really do work harder than men

A study has confirmed what we already suspected: career women work harder than men, because they do the lion’s share of the household chores as well as their office hours.

While men work longer at the office, it is women who work more each week if domestic and paid employment are put together, says the study by Cambridge University of more than 30,000 people.

Today’s European Union-funded report, which examined working practices across member states, says that the average man in full-time employment works about 55 hours a week.

In the UK that figure includes about 3.6 hours commuting, and eight hours of domestic work such as cleaning, cooking and child care.

In contrast, the average working week for a woman in full-time employment in the EU is 68 hours.

For British women, that comprises 40 hours in the office, 3.3 hours commuting and 23 hours a week spent doing domestic work.

The report suggests that the ‘do it all’ woman is being prevented breaking on to high-salary senior jobs, because of their domestic workload.

‘The working lifestyles of most people in Europe still seem to be determined by gender,’ said Dr Brendan Burchell, a senior lecturer in sociology, who will present the study in Brussels today.

He added: ‘A lot of women feel they don’t have choices. They have children with a partner and reduce their hours in the early stages of a child’s life and when they want to re-establish themselves in their careers and in terms of their earning power, they are so far behind their husbands.

‘There should be more equal career breaks between men and women when children are born – for instance, by encouraging men to take their parental leave entitlements.’

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