37.7% of the mothers requested a reduction in working hours or work part-time when returning to work after maternity leave, options chosen only by 4% of parents, according to a study published by the Social Observatory of "la Caixa".
The report, made by J. A. Fernández-Cornejo, Sabina Belope-Nguema, Lorenzo Escot and Eva del Pozo-García, all of them from the Complutense University of Madrid, reveals that the differences in the adoption of other conciliation measures were also important: 9.37% of the mothers asked for more flexible hours compared to 3.80% of the fathers and 7.49% of the mothers requested a shift change, an option for which only 3.20% of the fathers bowed.
The authors perform this analysis based on the results of a survey conducted in 2016 among 1,785 couples with young children from the Community of Madrid.
From the same survey, data were extracted on the average days of leave after the birth or adoption of a child.
Mothers use 162 days to take care of the baby
The mothers surveyed used an average of 162.7 days off to care for the baby, while the parents used 16.8 days (at the time of the survey, the male parents had two-week paternity leave; currently it is now eight weeks and from January 2020 it will be 12).
The study also examines the causes of gender differences to opt for these measures and concludes that The lack of sensitivity of companies is one of the barriers that inhibit men when it comes to conciliation.
Companies see "more natural" that women reconcile
54.4% of men and 60.5% of women surveyed argue that their company is considered "more natural" that a mother request a permit, leave or a reduction of working day for the care of the children than a father does.
The work environment has a role in the effective ability to choose to reconcile and, according to the data analyzed, the level of conflict between work and family felt by fathers is greater than that of mothers.
In addition, the research shows that having the perception of working in a "family responsible" company that supports the reconciliation of work and family life as well as belonging to an organization where there is no problem of gender bias in conciliation reduces the feeling of parents (boys) of conflict between work and family and improves their satisfaction with work.