It’s bad enough that men statistically tend to haul in bigger paychecks than women with comparable jobs and responsibilities. But adding insult to injury, they’re also happier than women with their work-life balance, a new survey shows.
Women across all demographics are 33 percent unhappier than their male counterparts, according to a survey of more 670 North American while-collar workers sponsored by Captivate Networks, a digital media company.
When it comes to extreme happiness, men are consistently happier than women, the survey showed. The higher up the economic totem pole you climb, the better it gets for women, but a disparity exists there as well.
In the "extremely happy" category, men are 25 percent happier at work than women, 8 percent happier at home and 75 percent of them report being able to balance their work and personal lives.
Who is the profile of the extremely happy person at home and at work? He's 39 years old, married, with a household income between $150,000 and $200,000, holds a senior management position, has one young child at home and is married to a wife who works part-time.
What's the profile of an unhappy person in the office and at home? She's a 42-year-old, unmarried woman with a household income under $100,000, working in a professional position such as a doctor or a lawyer.
"The disparity between men and women when it comes to work-life balance is telling," said Dr. Gilda Carle, a psychotherapist specializing in work-life issues. "It reflects the reality that while women are as active as men in the workplace, they're still expected to bear most of the responsibility for domestic activities."
The impact of a poor work-life balance can be serious. Nearly 87 percent of respondents indicated that work-life balance affects their health — particularly women, who report more stress, headaches, muscle tension, weight gain and depress than their male counterparts.
But health and wellness programs are not the answer to addressing the imbalance. While nearly one in four employees reported that their companies had created special "wellness programs" to support them in their quest for work-life balance, few people actually seemed to benefit, the survey showed.
In fact, it was the employees working for companies without wellness programs that were 23 percent happier and balanced.
"Our data indicates that although many employers make noble attempts to create effective wellness programs, it's the environment and culture of an organization that best benefits an employee's sense of balance," said Mike DiFranza, president of Captivate Network.