Should the work-life balance needs of single people, as well as families, be assessed? The answer is yes. 78% consider that work-life balance is taken less into account in people who live alone than those who live with a partner or have children, according to the latest analysis of trends and perceptions by the Alares Observatory. This entity, specialized in caring for people, wanted to analyze how unconscious biases or diversity management work in the corporate sphere. One of the conclusions is that marital status has always influenced the inclusion of certain groups.
To the traditional discrimination for reasons of maternity, which is prohibited by law, there is a new one that has to do with the increase in older people who live alone, indicates this organization.
Such biases, they explain in their study, manifest themselves in things like: increase in overtime and workloads in people who do not have to spend their time caring for their children, less predisposition when it comes to assigning vacations to people who do not have to coordinate them with their partner or less flexibility when granting days off or own affairs to those who are not married. Many of these stereotypes are linked to other aspects related to diversity, such as gender, being a double discrimination suffered by women (female and single).
Age, the main cause of discrimination
According to the thermometer of discrimination and unconscious biases in the companies of the Wings Observatory, age (18%) is the main reason for discrimination in work environments. Whether young or old, these groups are the ones that suffer most from certain unconscious comments or micro-discriminations. “It is made by an intern”, assume less technological or digital skills… These are some of the biases related to age and training, as indicated by this entity. In this way, a job of lesser quality is related to young people (without taking into account other factors such as the leadership that has assigned the task, the briefing or previous training that they have received…). The same happens with older people when we talk about technological or digital tasks.
The second reason for discrimination, they say, is gender (11%) and in third position is surprisingly the origin of another autonomous community (8%). «This occurs, for example, in hiring or promotion situations.. There is a tendency to unconsciously associate less commitment to the company or the project on the part of people who live or come from an autonomous community other than that of the corporate headquarters». Again, they continue, the conciliation unconscious fails again because it is deduced that a person from another place will more likely leave his job to take care of his elders. In fact, 35% admit to hiding some of the aspects that have to do with diversity in their workplace.
“You’re going to miss the rice”, “don’t you have children or a partner?” or allusions to sexual life… They are, warn from this Alares Observatory, some of the social conditions that must be worked on in the Diversity and Inclusion Plans of the companies to avoid rumor mills and unofficial toxic communication channels, internally. Empathy is the key to success. Externally, the change of predetermined units when filling in questionnaires and boxes (for example, from 2 to 1 or blank) or when reserving certain products or services (hotels, activities…) are small gestures to position yourself as “single-friendly” brand.
As they conclude from this organization, if you live as a couple and have children, it is perhaps more difficult to understand, for many people, especially women, not having a life project or a marital status according to social dogmas or what society waiting for her. “This can cause immense psychological damage in which the woman is the most affected. It seems that the stereotypes of ‘Doña Rosita la soltera’ (Federico García Lorca, 1935) have not changed, despite the fact that almost a century has passed since that work”, they conclude.