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Study: Women are more productive at work than men

Women working together

Women complete 10 percent more work than men, according to a study on gender issues in the workplace by productivity platform Hive. That difference may be caused, at least in part, by an unequal workload. The study of more than 3,000 women and men shows that women are assigned 54.9 percent of all work, compared to 45.1 percent assigned to men.

That extra work isn’t translating into the same promotions and career success for women, possibly because of the type of work they are assigned. Hive notes that women are tasked with and spend more time on non-promotable activities (those that benefit an organization but don’t advance employees’ careers).

Women and men also tend to communicate more with — and assign more work to — colleagues of the same gender.

Among women, 57 percent of messages sent at work via messenger apps are directed to other women. Men send 53 percent of their messages to other men.

More significantly, both women and men assign 20 percent more work to same-gender colleagues and study participants were slightly more likely to complete tasks assigned to them by someone of the same gender. Because men tend to outnumber women in higher-ranking roles, this trend of working more closely with same-gender colleagues could be perpetuating the gender gap in leadership, according to the report.

Surprising similarities 

Women chat more at work than their male counterparts, sending 20 percent more direct messages, but that’s where major differences in communication styles between the genders end.

Hive looked into participants’ word choices when communicating with each other in the workplace. Despite recent backlash against a perceived overuse of “passive” language by women, the study found only slight differences between men and women’s word choices.

  • Men say “thanks” more often — 1.88 percent of messages sent by men contain the word “thanks” compared to 1.77 percent sent by women.
  • Women send slightly more messages with happy and sad emojis (0.49 percent and 0.07 percent, respectively) compared to men (0.42 percent and 0.05 percent).
  • Women use more exclamation points than men (10.91 percent versus 9.09 percent)
  • Both men and women say “sorry,” “please” and “I think” almost equally (0.64 percent versus 0.7 percent, 0.99 percent versus 1.05 percent, and an equal 1.2 percent).

Because the differences in men and women’s language are so minor, the study concludes that it may be time to stop policing women’s language and start paying more attention to how we perceive their words and contributions.