3. They're sexist

 

Harvard Business School, which has produced enough executives to weigh in on the topic, found that executives not only aren't big believers in work-life balance, but believe that finding it equates to women's work.

That wasn't just the male execs talking, either. Harvard Business School professor Boris Groysberg and research associate Robin Abrahams flipped through interviews of nearly 4,000 C-suite executives conducted by HBS students between 2008 and 2013. Of those executives, 44% were women.

The men relish the "breadwinner" role, brag about the merits of spending 10 minutes with their kids each night and have no problem lumping parental duties on a stay-at-home wife. The women, meanwhile, talk about hiring help to look after their children and "the guilt of missing out." It's why the women interviewed were more likely to say they'd put off marriage and children entirely to avoid the conflict.

As a result, 88% of male execs were married, compared with 70% of women. A full 60% of male execs had spoused who don't work full-time outside of the home, while only 10% of women did. The men averaged more than two kids apiece, the women 1.6.

In both cases, the executives saw work-life balance as women's work. Each side found it inconceivable that a man could pick up the slack, address work-life conflicts and actually contribute something other than money to the household. As The Atlantic pointed out last year, the amount of stay-at-home dads has doubled since 1994, but still exist among only 0.8% of married couples with children. Also, in two-parent households where women work, the percentage of fathers functioning as the primary caregiver to their children fell from nearly 13% in 1997 to 9.5% in 2011.

At least the Harvard students interviewing these parents were aghast at the results. Their firm disagreement about executives leading balanced lives bodes well for the C-suites of the future.

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