One-half of women struggling with work-life balance

Happier with support from employers than families: Survey
||Last Updated: 03/09/2015

The majority of Canadian women are still struggling to achieve the optimal balance between their work and family life, according to BMO Financial Group.

About one-half (47 per cent) feel they have achieved the right work-life balance, with 68 per cent saying their employer takes steps to ensure they can effectively manage their responsibilities at work and at home, compared to 31 per cent reporting their families provide enough support on the homefront to help them succeed at their careers.

In terms of what employers can do to help women balance their lives more effectively, women identified:

•better benefits (27 per cent)

•flexible time (24 per cent)

•sick/family emergency days (21 per cent)

•vacation time (18 per cent).

When asked what their families could be doing better or more of, women identified the following:

•Be more helpful around the house (24 per cent).

•Be more understanding of their work schedule (15 per cent).

•Take on more child care responsibilities (nine per cent).

Should I stay or should I go?

The survey of 1,002 people also found 63 per cent of women feel that staying with one employer over the long term (and being promoted from within) is preferable to switching employers as a way to further their careers. This may be because 74 per cent of women (and 52 per cent of men) reported that it is more challenging for women to prove themselves to a new employer than it is for men.

The top challenges women identified when starting with a new employer included:

•establishing a comfortable work-life balance (78 per cent).

•perceptions regarding family obligations or maternity leave (72 per cent).

When asked about what would prompt them to change employers, the top reasons women reported included:

•poor management/bad boss (57 per cent)

•insufficient compensation (54 per cent)

•poor work-life balance (42 per cent).

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