Women have often bragged about their multitasking skills at one point or the other. Often times, they have sited how they are able to able to run a home better than their male counterparts. And trust me it is impressive. I mean, imagine the amount of things a mother accomplishes before noon. I have an aunty who has twin girls and a son, and every morning she would make breakfast (pancakes for the girls and French toast for her son) , dress the kids for school with lunch packed, and be on the phone with work all while she was checking in with her professor from her online master’s program.
Most research on the subject matter has been done with small groups and thus cannot be easily generalized. Therefore, while further research is needed, the studies so far have allowed us to make educated guess on the issue. For instance, a study that required men and women to complete a series of four tasks which included a simple arithmetic task, a map location task and a task to draw a plan to find a lost key in a field, all while being intermittently interrupted by phone calls which would test them on general knowledge. Individually, men and women performed about the same on the map location, arithmetic tests, and responding to the phone calls, but overall, 70% of the women performed better because they planned better when it can to the location of the key task. Thus, this ability to make plans and develop strategies for coping with different tasks gives women the upper hand in multitasking. This may be why Sheryl Sandberg COO of Facebook was hired and is as successful at her job. It was reported that Zuckerberg said to the New York Times that he believed she possessed the qualities of a good manager and also the ability to be very analytic and focused on strategy.
Another probable explanation to this phenomenon is the fact that men tend to have a hierarchical outlook towards tasks and priorities will women are better at equating tasks and priorities; meaning that men would prefer to finish one task before heading to the other. Also, due to the presence of more neural connections between the left and right hemispheres of the brain in women, the amount of delay and switching costs needed when juggling tasks is reduced.
This suggests why women are better equipped at certain careers within the professional scene. For example, being a nurse requires a series of tasks and record keeping across different patients; being an administrative assistant requires not only for you to perform multiple tasks, but also to perform them well under the constant interruptions that come with the job. These are jobs that are dominated by women. More examples of such jobs are project management, paralegal, customer service personnel etc.
Article written by Amarachi Nlemigbo