August 1, 2020 | Sarah Todd, Quartz
A survey from the Center for Talent Innovation sheds light on the problem.
A few years ago at a company picnic, I joined a handful of colleagues helping to haul boxes of sandwiches and soft drinks through the park. All of us had signed up for this manual labor a few days prior, back at the office. And all of us, it turned out, were women.
The gender imbalance of the picnic crew felt representative of a larger dynamic that I’d seen play out throughout my career. When a request for volunteers went out, women often seemed to be the ones who shuffled their schedules accordingly.
Out of sheer curiosity, I asked a couple of male co-workers why they hadn’t helped carry items for the picnic or responded to some other recent calls for volunteers. None of them had anything against the idea of helping in theory, they said. They’d just thought, I’m too busy.