Being in power at home reduces a woman's desire to achieve success at workplace, says a new study.
The study from University of California, Berkeley, however found that while women may lose interest and energy after taking care of home, men still pursued career goals even if they were managing home.
"It appears that being in charge of household decisions may bring a semblance of power to women's traditional role, to the point where women may have less desire to push against the obstacles to achieving additional power outside the home," said Serena Chen from UC Berkeley, a co-author of the study.
Even now, women are mostly in charge of managing home and taking care of the children. Researchers say that this arrangement has an impact on the woman's ability and desire to aspire for success at workplace.
"As a result, women may make decisions such as not going after a high-status promotion at work, or not seeking to work full time, without realizing why," lead author Melissa Williams an assistant professor of business at Emory University.
The study was based on three experiments. In the first, researchers asked more than 100 men and women on their ideas about household management. Both men and women in the survey sad that taking care of finances and decisions at home was advantageous.
In the second experiment, 166 women were asked to imagine two events: One, that she controls the house, second that she makes decisions with her husband. Researchers then asked these women to rate their lives and future life goals. Study results showed that women who thought they were in complete control at home were more likely to rate workplace perks (like a higher salary) lower than those women who had to make household decisions with their husbands.
"This suggests that it is the power aspect of household control that reduces women's interest in power outside of the home," Chen said.
In the third experiment, 644 men and women were asked to visualize a scenario that they are married and have a child and that they are either making household decisions by themselves or sharing it with their spouses. The participants also were asked to imagine that they were doing all household chores.
Women, once again, showed less interest in workplace goals after being in charge of household. However, men's career aspirations weren't damped by household duties.
Study findings were presented at the annual meeting of the Society of Personality and Social Psychology in New Orleans.
"To realize true gender equality in both the private and public spheres, our results suggest that women may need to at least partially abdicate their role of ultimate household deciders, and men must agree to share such decision making," Chen concluded.