Men are more likely than women to say they have more responsibility than their colleagues’ with the same job title, according to a new survey report by Clutch, the leading B2B ratings and reviews firm. Women may struggle to advance in organizations that do not provide a clear outline of employees’ tasks, experts say.

Businesses should clearly outline a job’s tasks and responsibilities through its title and description to combat gender bias about workplace responsibility. By doing so, companies will give all employees a more accurate sense of their workloads and a fairer chance at advancement.

Clutch surveyed 505 full-time employees in the U.S. about their job titles.

Experts say that women struggle to advance in part because of factors such as:

“The motherhood penalty,” in which working mothers are perceived as less productive and professionally dedicated than men, women without children, and women with grown children, according to Christine Michel Carter, author of “Can Mommy Go to Work?”

• Ignorance about the large amount of time women spend on “office housework” such as emptying the dishwasher, buying birthday cards, and taking notes, according to the Harvard Business Review.

By developing accurate and transparent job titles and descriptions, businesses can help both employees and external stakeholders understand all workers’ roles. With this knowledge, people will be less likely to assume that men do more work than women.

People Believe Employees with Same Job Title Should Have Same Overall Responsibility at Work

While men and women claim different levels of responsibility, the majority of people say it’s important for employees with the same job title to have the same overall responsibility.

Two-thirds of people (66%) say it is very or somewhat important for two employees with the same job title to have the same overall responsibility at work.

Only 23% of employees say that their job title accurately reflects their work and responsibility, though.

Businesses must remember that responsibility is different than daily, individual tasks.

• Tasks are individual, deadline-driven activities that employees complete to advance larger projects.

• Responsibility is a broader state of accountability and control.

Employees can hold the same level of overall responsibility while still completing different daily tasks.

To designate an employee’s responsibility accurately, companies can make efforts as simple as using “senior” in the job titles of employees with advanced authority.

“Simply designating someone’s title as ‘senior’ can reflect the added experience and responsibilities,” said John Moss, CEO of English Blinds, a window blinds supplier. “[This ensures that employees] feel their work is acknowledged, respected, and appreciated.”

Clutch’s 2019 Job Advancement Survey included 505 full-time employees across the U.S.

Read the full report: