It's true: women spend 51 more minutes a day than men doing dreaded yet inescapable household chores. But, those men who do divide those tasks equally with their partner (like unicorns, they are!) are helping with more than just your To Do list—they're also more likely to raise ambitious daughters.
What, exactly does a man doing the dishes have to do with an ambitious woman? A study in the journal Psychological Science says that the way a father handles domestic duties can have a strong influence on girls' career aspirations. In the study, researchers analyzed 326 children aged 7-13 and at least one of their parents by calculating the division of chores and paid labor in each home, as well as attitudes towards gender and work. What they found was that even when fathers said they supported gender equality, if they retained a traditional division of labor at home (ie. women handling most of the housework), their daughters were more likely to aspire to traditionally female-dominant jobs.
"Parents’ domestic actions may speak louder than words," says psychology researcher and study author Alyssa Croft, a PhD Candidate in the University of British Columbia’s Department of Psychology. “This study is important because it suggests that achieving gender equality at home may be one way to inspire young women to set their sights on careers from which they have traditionally been excluded.”
We couldn't agree with Croft more. So, if you're already married, make sure your husband is doing his part around the house, if not for your sake, then for the sake of his (future?) daughter. And, if you're single, well, add this to the dating checklist: must do dishes.