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Canadian Work-Life Study Yields Interesting Findings About Men and Shifting Gender Roles
January 15, 2013
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The 2012 National Study on Balancing Work and Caregiving in Canada includes a number of interesting findings regarding work-life conflict in men and changing gender roles in our society. The study is third in a series of national work-life studies published by Linda Duxbury of Carleton University and Christopher Higgins of Western University. Duxbury and Higgins surveyed 25,021 Canadians working for 71 public private and not-for-profit organizations across the country in 2011 and 2012.

Last fall we reported on some of their findings regarding decreasing work flexibility for Canadian white collar workers.  Here are some sample findings that shed light on how evolving gender roles affect the work-life balance issues facing Canadian men in white-collar occupations. The study sample included 9,107 men.

• Men still devote more hours to paid work than women on average and are more likely to earn over $100,000.00 per year. However, women were the primary or equal wager earner in just over half the families in the study.

• Men were more likely than women to work a rotating shift.

• The average amounts of time fathers reported spending on childcare and eldercare were only slightly lower that the amounts of time reported by women.  Fathers in the study averaged 19 hours of childcare and six hours of eldercare per week compared to women's average 23 hours of childcare and seven hours of eldercare One third of female respondents in the sample said their husbands had primary responsibility for childcare in their families.

• Men in the study were as likely as women to miss work due to childcare and elder care responsibilities.

• Most men agreed with the statement that the culture in their workplace values employees who put work ahead of family.

Overall, gender was not associated with any of the forms of work-life conflict in the study, which Duxbury and Higgins suggest is a sign of the increasing trend toward shared caregiving and breadwinning in mother-father families.

Read more about Duxbury and Higgins' findings on men and gender roles here.