Women's Health
Basic InformationLatest News
Why Quitting Smoking Might Be a Bit Tougher for WomenCleaner Air Could Mean Healthier Brains for Older WomenImmune-Based Drug Fights Advanced Endometrial Cancer: StudyBreastfeeding May Protect a Mom's Heart Years LaterAHA News: Pregnant Women Living Under Negative Social Conditions May Face Higher Heart Disease RiskFour Factors in Midlife Predict a Healthy Old Age for WomenYou Can Help Prevent Cervical CancerCOVID Vaccine May Temporarily Add 1 Day to Menstrual Cycle: StudyCould New Blood Test Predict Pregnancy Complications?Unhealthy Heart May Be Bigger Threat to Women's Brains Than Men'sNew Clues to How Ovarian Cancer Begins -- and Might Be PreventedMore U.S. Women Are Retaining Their Hearing as They AgeWhy Are More Women Using Pot, Other Cannabis Products During Pregnancy?Chemicals in Hair, Beauty Products May Interfere With Hormones During PregnancyFDA Allows Abortion Pill to Stay Available by MailDrug Combo May Fight a Tough Form of Breast CancerStress May Be Stronger Trigger for Problem Drinking in Women Than MenRemoving Ovaries During Hysterectomy Before 50 Can Bring Health RisksGastro Symptoms of Menopause May Vary by RaceBlack Women Have Triple the Odds for Lymphedema After Breast Cancer SurgeryGene Test Spots Breast Cancer Patients Who Can Skip Post-Op ChemoHPV Vaccine Is Reducing Cervical Cancers in Teens, Young WomenPostpartum Depression Can Do Long-Term Harm to Women's FinancesFDA Approves Imaging Drug That Can Help Surgeons Spot Ovarian CancersMom's Pre-Pregnancy Weight Could Affect Odds for Child's Asthma, AllergiesCould Estrogen Help Shield Women's Brains From Alzheimer's?Women Feel More Stigma From 'Spare Tire' Around Middle Than MenHPV Vaccination When Young Cuts Cervical Cancer Risk by 87%Will an Early-Stage Breast Cancer Spread? New Analysis Offers Some AnswersWomen Less Likely to Ask for More Time When Deadlines LoomWhen Climbing Corporate Ladder, Women Are as Competitive as Men: Study'Forever Chemicals' Might Raise Risk of Pregnancy ComplicationFinancial Stress Burdens More Than Half of New U.S. Moms: StudyA Faster, Cheaper Test to Gauge the Risk of Premature Delivery?Could Breastfeeding Help Women Keep Their Smarts as They Age?Stronger Breast Implant Safety Measures Announced by FDAPTSD Symptoms May Vary Throughout Menstrual Cycle: StudyVision Troubles Could Raise Midlife Depression Risk for WomenToo Little Vitamin D Could Raise Colon Cancer Risk in Black WomenWhy Are Cases of Pancreatic Cancer Rising in Young Women?Depression, Anxiety Could Raise a Pregnant Woman's Odds for C-SectionStill Too Few Women in Stroke Treatment Clinical TrialsMore Middle-Aged, Older Women Getting  'Broken Heart' SyndromeFDA Warns Against Using At-Home Dermal Filler 'Pens'AHA News: Broken Heart Syndrome Is on the Rise, Especially Among Older WomenLengthening Menstrual Cycles Near Menopause Could Predict Heart HealthPandemic Stress Altered Many Women's Menstrual CyclesBreastfeeding Longer May Lower Postpartum Depression RiskAHA News: How Black Women Can Take Control of Their Blood PressureLow-Dose Aspirin Guards Against Preeclampsia: Task Force
LinksSelf-Help Groups
Related Topics

Wellness and Personal Development
Mental Disorders

Women Less Likely to Ask for More Time When Deadlines Loom

HealthDay News
by By Amy Norton HealthDay Reporter
Updated: Nov 3rd 2021

new article illustration

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 3, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- It's a case of being your own worst enemy: New research shows that women are more reluctant to ask for deadline extensions at work than their male colleagues are, in part because they worry about being seen as incompetent.

In a series of studies, researchers found that overall, women were less likely than men to ask for extra time to complete a work or school task. And that reluctance seemed to stem from two concerns: Women often believed they'd be judged harshly, and they also worried about burdening their coworkers if they failed to meet a deadline.

Researchers said the findings are no shock. For one, past studies have found that women are less likely than men to ask their employer for a raise.

"Money is one important resource, but time is another one," said lead researcher Ashley Whillans, an assistant professor at the Harvard Business School in Boston.

And based on this study, she said, it's yet another one that female employees are more hesitant to seek out.

That's despite the fact that women frequently lack time, Whillans pointed out.

Research shows that working women can face a particularly tough time crunch, for various reasons: Those in marriages still bear the lion's share of child care and household chores. And at work, women are more likely than men to take on tasks outside of their job description.

"Women have internalized this belief that they need to go above and beyond their male colleagues," said Whillans.

The findings rang true for Dr. Ludmila De Faria, who chairs the American Psychiatric Association's Committee on Women's Mental Health.

She said that working women often feel pressure to prove they are highly competent while also being seen as "nice."

So their anxieties around deadline extensions makes sense, said De Faria, who was not part of the study.

The findings, published Nov. 1 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, come from a series of nine studies. They included more than 5,700 working adults and college students overall.

In a few studies, participants were asked about their comfort level with asking for deadline extensions, and how they felt their supervisor and colleagues would react. And clear gender differences emerged.

Next, the researchers tried to gauge how likely it was that women would, in fact, be judged harshly for needing more time. They asked participants to imagine themselves in the role of supervisor, and found no evidence that people were apt to judge women as incompetent for requesting a deadline extension.

However, that needs to be interpreted with a grain of salt, Whillans said.

"We are not saying women are wrong in believing they'll be judged," she stressed. "Their beliefs are coming from somewhere."

Plus, workplaces vary, Whillans noted, and employees generally know the dynamics of their particular situation.

The researchers did come upon one potential solution to the issue: setting a formal policy on requesting deadline extensions.

In one set of studies, male college students were more likely than their female counterparts to ask for extra time to finish a paper: 36% did, versus 15%. But when students were explicitly told they could ask for an extension, and given a process for doing so, women were just as likely as men to request more time.

De Faria said she thinks that's the most important point from the research. Having a policy on deadline extensions assures employees it's "normal" to ask for one, she said.

It should not all be up to individuals to manage their time stress, De Faria noted. "There are things in the system that need to be addressed," she said.

And in the end, De Faria added, employers are likely to benefit.

"When employees are healthy, mentally and physically, they are more productive," she said.

Whillans agreed that formal policies may take the guesswork, and accompanying anxiety, out of requests for deadline extensions.

"If it is OK to ask for time, organizations should make that clear to employees," she said.

And for working women who are prone to self-criticism, it's important to discern which tasks really can wait, according to Whillans.

"Not everything needs to be done on time, every time," she said. "You don't need to be perfect."

More information

Johns Hopkins Medicine has advice on coping with work stress.

SOURCES: Ashley V. Whillans, PhD, assistant professor, negotiations, organizations and markets, Harvard Business School, Boston; Ludmila De Faria, MD, chair, Committee on Women's Mental Health, American Psychiatric Association, Washington, D.C., and associate professor, psychiatry, University of Florida College of Medicine, Gainesville; Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Nov. 1, 2021, online

328 W. Claiborne St.
P.O. Box 964
Alabama 36460
Tel: (251)575-4203

powered by centersite dot net