by Casee Yarborough, LAT, ATC

Have you heard of the Pink Tax? It’s not an actual tax, but it’s the tendency that common products for women are more expensive compared to equivalent products for men. Things like razors and soaps are a few dollars more expensive when marketed to women. In the industrial setting, women may have noticed this pink tax when shopping for industrial PPE, like safety shoes and gloves.

A Woman’s Time

Data is also showing differences in time availability between men and women. You might think: “How is time different between genders? Everyone has the same 24 hours in a day.” Whether you are a male or female industrial athlete, becoming more aware of your loved ones’ or coworkers’ experiences and putting yourself in someone else’s shoes can improve your relationships and reduce conflicts.

This Time article points out that women often have “more things to do and fewer minutes in which to do them.” At home, women may be more involved in keeping the house clean, caring for children, preparing food. At work, women are often assigned additional “necessary but non-promotable tasks such as taking notes, … bringing in cake for colleagues, or getting coffees for the office.”

Let’s be clear, men definitely contribute to household and office responsibilities. However, traditional male responsibilities often demand less frequency. For example, taking out the trash and mowing the grass: each of these duties happen once per week. Traditional female duties, like preparing food, washing dishes, doing laundry are ongoing chores which can infiltrate multiple days per week.

Further, when women take time for leisure or rest, they are more likely to experience time-guilt or time-judgment. Choosing self-care instead of a family-focused activity, often makes her feel like a bad partner or parent even if she chooses family a majority of the time.

There is also a discrepancy in leisure time itself. The Time article states that men average “5 more hours per week than women” of leisure time, which totals to an extra 260 hours per year. When men participate in traditional male leisure activities, they are often away from the home and require multiple hours, like fishing or golfing. Traditional female leisure activities, like reading, crafting, and gardening, can often be done at home and be easily put down to respond to interruptions.

Building Gender Equity Together

Whether you are a male or female industrial athlete, notice your interactions with family, friends, coworkers, or roommates. How do people around you spend their time compared to how you spend your time? What responsibilities are they carrying compared to you? Have a conversation with your partner, family, roommate, or coworker. Ask them questions to understand their perception of differences in male and female time usage.

If you are a woman and you have a lot on your plate, set boundaries on your time. Set aside time each week for your rest and enjoyment. If you feel the pressure of time-guilt or time judgment, find ways to cope with these emotions. Are these pressures originating internally? Are external sources making you feel judged and guilty? Ask your partner or family to take a chore or responsibility off your shoulders. Delegate tasks at work.

If you are a man and a female family member or coworker has less time than you, be aware of when and how the discrepancy is happening. Take initiative to complete extra household tasks without being asked. Set aside a couple hours for household chores or childcare so your partner can take time away from the house for leisure or rest. Notice if a coworker is doing extra housekeeping duties and offer to take one off her plate.

Casee Yarborough, LAT, ATC || Casee is a Certified Athletic Trainer with a degree from Palm Beach Atlantic University. A native Floridian, she worked as an athletic trainer at a high school for two years before switching to the industrial setting. Outside of work she enjoys fitness, sports, and traveling.

Be sure to check out our other blogs for further injury prevention education and tips for the industrial athlete from Work Right NW!