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每日跟讀#503: How to Close a Gender Gap: Let Employees Control Their Schedules

縮小職場性別差距的關鍵:彈性上班工時

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每日跟讀#503: How to Close a Gender Gap: Let Employees Control Their Schedules

The main reason for the gender gaps at work — why women are paid less, why they’re less likely to reach the top levels of companies, and why they’re more likely to stop working after having children — is employers’ expectation that people spend long hours at their desks, research has shown.

It’s especially difficult for women because they have disproportionate responsibility for caregiving.

Flexibility regarding the time and place that work gets done would go a long way toward closing the gaps, economists say. Yet when people ask for it, especially parents, they can be penalized in pay and promotions. Social scientists call it the flexibility stigma, and it’s the reason that even when companies offer such policies, they’re not widely used.

研究顯示,職場所以出現性別落差:女性薪酬較低,較難爬到公司頂層職位,有了孩子後更可能停止工作,主因在於雇主期待員工長時間坐在辦公桌前。

這對女性而言特別困難,因為她們照顧家人的責任比男性大得多。

經濟學家說,在完成工作的時間與地點上展現彈性,對於縮小性別差距會大有幫助。不過,人們如果要求彈性上班,特別是已有子女者,卻可能在薪水和升遷上受到懲罰。社會科學家稱之為彈性汙點,也因此即使公司有這樣的政策,用得也不多。

A new job search company, Werk, is trying to address the problem by negotiating for flexibility with employers before posting jobs, so employees don’t have to.

All the positions listed on the Werk site, including some from Facebook, Uber and Samsung, are highly skilled jobs that offer some sort of control over the time and place of work. People can apply to jobs that let them work away from the office all the time or some of the time, and at hours other than 9-to-5, part time or with minimal travel.

Another option gives workers the freedom to adjust their schedules, no questions asked, because of unpredictable obligations, like a sleepless night with a toddler or a trip to the emergency room with an older parent.

新創職業仲介公司Werk正試圖解決這個問題,方法是在張貼出職缺之前先與雇主洽商彈性,免得員工必須自己去談。

Werk網站列出的所有職缺,包括一些臉書、優步和三星的職缺,都是需要高度技能的工作,能讓應徵者對工作時間和地點享有一些自主性。人們可以應徵各種形態的工作,包括完全不需進辦公室,部分時間不用進去,在9點到5點以外的時間工作,兼職,以及盡量不出差至外地。

另外還有一種選擇,是讓員工可因為不可預測的職責而自行調整工作時程而不須交代理由,這些職責包括為照顧幼兒而整夜沒得睡,送年邁父母去急診。

“Nobody wants to be the female in the department who says, ‘My kid threw up on me this morning; I can’t come in,'” said Annie Dean, who worked as a lawyer before starting Werk with Anna Auerbach, a former consultant. “Eighty percent of companies say they offer flexibility, but it’s a black market topic. You raise it and you’re not taken seriously.”

For now, Werk is a limited experiment. Most of the employers are small companies, and it is aimed at an elite group of women — highly educated and on a leadership track. But it could provide lessons for how to improve work and make it more equal for a broader group.

安妮.迪恩本來是律師,後來與原任顧問的安娜.奧爾巴奇合創Werk公司,她說:「沒有人想當部門裡那個說『我的孩子今天早上吐了我一身,我不能到辦公室了』的女性。百分之八十的公司說他們提供彈性,但這是黑市話題,你若提出來,不會被當回事。」

現階段,Werk是個範圍有限的實驗。大多數雇主是小公司,而且該網站鎖定女性菁英─受過高等教育並有擔任高層主管的潛力。不過這可提供經驗用以改善工作,使工作對更廣大的群體而言更平等。

Women who have less education or are paid hourly wages have significantly less flexibility than professional women to begin with. It makes working and caregiving that much harder.

Motherhood presents a different challenge for the elite women that Werk was made for. The careers that pay the most and require the most education, like business and law, also have the most gender inequality. Why? Economists have found it’s a result of the long hours and limited flexibility.

比起專業女性,教育程度較低或是領時薪的女性彈性小得多。這也使得兼顧工作和照顧家人更是困難得多。

當母親對Werk鎖定的女性菁英是另一種不同的挑戰。薪水最高和學歷要求最高的職涯,像是商業和法律,也是性別最不平等的。為什麼?經濟學家發現這是工作時間長和彈性有限的結果。

Source: https://paper.udn.com/udnpaper/POH0067/311284/web/

文/Claire Cain Miller譯/田思怡

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