Can I get an extension? How men and women treat workplace deadlines differently

New research has found that women are less likely than their male counterparts to negotiate deadline extensions, reported The Wall Street Journal Oct. 30. 

Previous research has shown that women take on more administrative duties at work, as well as carry the burden of doing the majority of care and domestic labor at home. On top of that, women reported feeling less comfortable asking for extensions at work, regardless of experience or job status. 

The researchers from Boston-based Harvard Business School and Columbus-based Ohio State University's Fisher College of Business said women were more concerned about appearing incompetent than men. They felt as though they didn't want to burden others with their requests, increasing feelings of guilt and reducing the willingness of women to ask for more time. 

To combat these feelings and ease pressure on women in the workplace, the authors suggested several actions employers could take. Communicating clearly when deadlines are flexible, emphasizing that asking for more time signals commitment, not incompetence, and setting formal policies on workplace extensions could all help women feel more confident asking for extensions. 

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