Report two: The Hidden Cost Of “Women’s Work”

Published April 2022

There’s a high price to pay for the pervasive perception that unpaid care and domestic duties are “women’s work”. This report reveals the current cost for women, men, and workplaces alike, and what leading employers are doing about it:

  • Gain a clear picture of the hidden impact sexist perceptions around unpaid care are having on your current workforce 
  • Understand how this issue could be damaging your company’s levels of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) 
  • Calculate the current cost of this issue to your workplace 
  • Find out what leading employers are doing to address this issue
Cover of the hidden cost of "women work" report
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What does “unpaid care” mean?

Unpaid care refers to the undertaking of tasks and domestic responsibilities without remuneration, such as raising children, cleaning the home, or supporting elderly or ill relatives.

Despite progress for women’s participation in the workforce, unpaid care and domestic duties continue to be widely considered “women’s work”. As such, working women around the world are undertaking significantly more hours of unpaid care than men.


By creating a culture that promotes and supports the equal distribution of unpaid caring responsibilities for parents and carers, employers can:

  • remove physical and metaphorical workplace barriers for women and underrepresented individuals;
  • normalize practices and destigmatize them for those who need them to thrive;
  • promote shared responsibility of unpaid care, which is crucial in the fight for gender equity.
Image of the WORK180's 10 key standards for driving workplace equity.

“So many companies are focused on recruiting and getting to that 50/50 gender or 30/70 ethnicity level of representation […] But they’re not then working on ways to retain this talent. What a waste of money, resources, time, and effort.”

`Asif Sadiq MBE

Global DEI thought leader and member of WORK180 DEI Board

WORK180 helps organizations of all sizes and stages of their DEI journey to build and benefit from a truly diverse workforce.


We provide a wide range of expert tools, guidance, and (for eligible employers only) a globally recognized endorsement.

Where should you be focusing your efforts when it comes to diversity, equity, and inclusion?

Empower, listen and learn from underrepresented voices in your organization using Experience180 — the ready-made engagement survey you can provide in partnership with WORK180.