Balancing jobs and family life has career women working more each week than men, says a new study. The study, led by Dr Brendan Burchell, a senior lecturer in sociology at the Cambridge University, housework and childcare were condemning millions of career women to much longer working days than men.
The findings were based on analysis from more than 30,000 people.
The study found that the average man in full-time employment works about 55 hours a week. In the UK this figure includes about 3.6 hours commuting, and eight hours of domestic work such as cleaning, cooking and childcare. In contrast to this, the average working week for a woman in full-time employment in the European Union is 68 hours.
For British women that comprises of - 40 hours in the office, 3.3 hours commuting and 23 hours a week spent doing domestic work. However, women who work part time put in longer hours overall than men in full-time work, because the never-ending household chores.
The study showed that women with part-time jobs worked on average 57 hours a week, i.e. made up of 21.3 hours in paid work, 2.4 hours commuting and 32.7 hours of domestic work.
The analysis revealed that the domestic workload prevented millions of women from working the long office hours typically required to break into the top management jobs on high salaries. In the UK, women make up just under half the workforce, but they represent less than a third of legislators, managers and senior officials.
The report said that the lifestyle divide must change if women are to have equal opportunities in the workplace.
"The working lifestyles of most people in Europe still seem to be determined by gender," Telegraph quoted Burchell, as saying.
"A lot of women feel they don't have choices. They have children with a partner and reduce their hours in the early stages of a child's life and when they want to re-establish themselves in their careers and in terms of their earning power, they are so far behind their husbands," he said.
"There should be more equal career breaks between men and women when children are born - for instance, by encouraging men to take their parental leave entitlements," he added.
Shirley Conran, author of the 1975 bestseller Superwoman and founder of the Work-Life Balance Trust, said that women needed to fight for 'domestic democracy', with men sharing a bigger burden of the chores and childcare at home.