Tag Archives: survey research

Small business owners in CT overwhelmingly support Paid Family Leave

This morning, my research company, BLS Research & Consulting, released the data from a poll we conducted among small business owners in Connecticut. Conducted on behalf of the CT Campaign for Paid Family Leave, the survey results showed that more than 3 in 4 small business owners SUPPORT the paid family leave legislation currently being considered in the Connecticut Assembly.

Highlights:

-95% of CT SBOs believe it is important for people to have time off to care for a new baby, a seriously ill family member, or recover from a personal illness, and 69% feel it is very important.

-More than 3 in 4 CT SBOs support paid family and medical leave legislation, and nearly half (46%) feel that way strongly. Support holds across the state and among different industries.

-79% of Connecticut Business and Industry Association (CBIA) members polled favor establishing PFML.

-Once SBOs learn more about paid family leave, including how research has demonstrated its benefits for businesses, support climbs to 82%.

When asked WHY they support paid leave, small business owners pointed out that such policies make good business sense, because they improve employee retention, job satisfaction, and productivity. They also believe having paid leave available is the right thing to do, because no one should have to choose between their family and a paycheck:

“I think it’s been extremely important to allow employees the opportunities to spend time with their family during these periods when it’s so urgent to be available. It’s great to come up with some ideas to not further burden already struggling small businesses and allowing needs to be met in this way. Great to see out of the box strategies.” –Medical/Healthcare Industry SBO, Middlesex County

“I support it because it’s important for employees to balance work and life. And as long as its employee funded I’m willing to sacrifice not having them at work during those 12 weeks.” –Professional Services Industry SBO, New Haven County

“We need to be considerate of human needs in this world. Work and money can wait.” –Real Estate Industry SBO, Hartford County

“Because I understand the need for paid medical leave for employees, but as a small business owner it puts a great burden on such a business. This sounds like a good solution that is mutually beneficial to all parties.” –Manufacturing Industry SBO, Litchfield County

“Sometimes, family members get sick and need care. Family is very important and businesses should respect that. A happy employee is a productive employee.” –Educational Industry SBO, Fairfield County

The data is clear: paid leave supports working families, improves worker retention and builds a competitive economy.

About the poll:

On behalf of the Connecticut Women’s Education and Legal Fund, BLS Research & Consulting conducted an online survey of 243 small business owners (2-250 employees) in Connecticut. About 82% of business owners surveyed employ less than 25 people.

The survey was fielded May 17th – May 23rd, 2017. The margin of error is +/- 6%.

Respondents were recruited via online panels and from commercial lists of small businesses in Connecticut. The sample includes a broad mix of small business owners from several industries—from manufacturing and construction to educational services and the medical/healthcare industry. Woman- and minority-owned small businesses are also represented.

For more information about this poll, contact me.

For more information on the campaign, visit their website.

Women Are Working More Than Ever – Inside The Home And Out

More than 73 million women participate in the U.S. workforce, making up more than half of the country’s working population. Women are increasingly their family’s breadwinner—more than 40% of working mothers are the sole or primary income earner in their household, a number that reflects both the rise in single motherhood as well as the fact that some women are out-earning their partners, despite the pay gap.

And gone are the days when control of the family’s finances fell primarily to men. As more women enter the workforce and bring home the family’s income, they are also taking on more responsibilities related to financial management—responsibilities that historically were considered in the “male” realm. Data from a national survey of American adults* conducted by my firm, Whitman Insight Strategies, indicates that women are just as likely as men to be responsible for a variety of financial responsibilities, including:

• Making monthly payments for utilities, phone, etc. (78% of men, 83% of women)
• Paying credit card bills (74% of men, 81% of women)
• General financial planning/budgeting (68% of men, 65% of women)
• Making mortgage or rent payments (59% of men, 59% of women)

The sample in this study included only women and men in “partnered” households, meaning people who are married, in a domestic partnership, or living with a significant other. We might infer from this data that men and women have achieved some sort of equality in their relationships, in that they are equally responsible for financial management in their households.

But while women and men may have achieved parity when it comes to financial obligations, with other household tasks, women shoulder much more responsibility than men. Women are much more likely than men to be responsible for buying groceries, cooking and preparing meals, household cleaning, and planning social activities:

• Buying groceries: (65% of men, 90% of women)
• Cooking/preparing meals: (48% of men, 85% of women)
• Household cleaning (48% of men, 88% of women)
• Planning social activities (26% of men, 57% of women)

Women are also performing more of the caregiving work—55% of partnered women say they are responsible for caring for loved ones, including children and elderly relatives, while only 39% of partnered men say the same.

But perhaps younger generations are creating more egalitarian households where women and men share in domestic labor? Wrong. Gender roles are remarkably similar across generations. The data from this survey shows that women of every generation—from Millennials to Baby Boomers—are much more likely than men to be responsible for the cooking, cleaning, social calendar keeping, and caregiving.

Responsibilities chart

To be sure, with some domestic tasks, younger men are doing more work than men of older generations do—62% of Millennial men say they’re responsible for household cleaning compared to 48% of Generation X and Baby Boomer men. But unfortunately, men taking on more responsibility does not help women very much—85% of Millennial women, 89% of Generation X women, and 90% of Baby Boomer women say they’re responsible for cleaning the house as well.

On other domestic tasks, including cooking, grocery shopping, and keeping the social calendar, there is virtually no difference across generations—women are about 30-40 points more likely to take on these responsibilities compared to men. It is among Generation X (ages 35-54) where we see the starkest gender differences in caring for loved ones—65% of women claim this responsibility, compared to just under half of Generation X men. Members of Generation X do more caregiving overall, perhaps not only for their own children, but to elderly parents or relatives as well.

So while women are taking on more responsibilities in the paid workforce, greater financial power does not translate to greater power or equality in the domestic sphere. And even though women are playing a bigger role in the management of their family’s money, these additional responsibilities are on top of the other household tasks for which women are also responsible. Rather than sharing household responsibilities with their partners, women are simply shouldering more obligations.

We cannot assume that these disparities will disappear in time, once younger, more egalitarian generations replace older Americans who are more rigid in their gender ideologies. The data from this survey give credence to the idea that gender roles are durable, and it will take more than time to change deeply held beliefs about what men and women should do with their time.

* Whitman Insight Strategies conducted an online survey among 1,347 American adults who indicated they were married, in a domestic partnership, or living together with a significant other. The survey fielded in March 2016. Please contact bstalsburg@whitmanstrategies.com for more information about the study. You can see other work here.