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Different Expectations for Women and Why It’s a Problem

Let’s face it- women have different expectations than men in the workplace. Women are expected to do their jobs, yes, but are then often given extra tasks on top of that. There’s a bit in the American tv show The Office, where women in the office are a part of the party-planning committee on top of their actual roles in the office. Yet, this is not a joke! Women are often given extra tasks on top of their actual work, and then expected to not take longer to finish their work!

Take appearance in the workplace as another example. Men in a professional office setting are generally meant to wear a suit. Women must toe the boundaries of either wearing a suit or a dress, but then there’s more. They must style their hair in a way that is professional, but not too casual, while also feeling pressure to apply makeup. Sure, there is no rule that says women must wear makeup in the professional workplace, but many do feel they have to.

Women also face differing expectations in the home. Women often take on the “mental load” at home, which means they take on the invisible work done in the house, all the planning and organizing to keep the household running, from what time dinner is to when the cleaning will be done. This is not to say that men do not do household chores, but studies have shown that women tend to do more of them on average.

What can we do to change this? For starters, everyone can do their part to support women in the workplace when they set boundaries and create healthier relationships with those around them. In the home however is much different, as it is up to those in that private sphere of life to create a healthier balance of chores and other daily tasks. Only then can these double standards and differing expectations be changed.

two Women working on a computer
Photo by Brooke Cagle from Unsplash

Natalie Clark is a junior at Southern Methodist University, majoring in English and Political Science on the Pre-Law track. She is a firm believer in a good nap. In her spare time, she likes to read, play tennis, and hang with friends. Instagram: @natclark424
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