If dad looks fatigued and exhausted this Father's Day, it could be because of his job. Many male employees are pressurised to work overtime for up to 40 hours -- often unpaid -- per week in today's competitive environment.
The latest research reveals that women face the same pressures as men but may work fewer hours due to domestic and family constraints, putting them at risk for demotions and possibly even a firing.
According to the findings published in the journal Gender and Society, increased competition in the workplace along with modern business practices are leading to unprecedented levels of overtime. Working longer hours does not necessarily lead to greater productivity.
"This clearly does not ease the situation for women and men who want to combine career and family life" said lead author Patricia van Echtelt, who is a scientist at the Netherlands Institute for Social Research.
The study looked at 1,114 male and female Dutch employees. Van Echtelt and colleagues believe that their findings could be applied to other countries, but they chose to focus on the Netherlands as outside family support is limited there.
The results indicated that among the survey respondents, 69 percent of all men worked overtime compared to 42 percent of women. Women who work overtime do so at a rate that is one-third lower than that of their male colleagues.
The researchers believe that this can be explained by the fact that women tend to be more involved in unpaid family work.
Van Echtelt and her team hope that in the future businesses will value their "employees more for their efficiency and relational skills and less for their long working hours".