CINCINNATI — Procter & Gamble Home Care brands Dawn and Swiffer are coming together to launch “Come Clean to Close the Chore Gap,” a campaign inviting everyone to do their part to create more equality in the division of household work. While more time spent at home has created a positive shift for some, new research conducted by P&G reveals that in 65% of households, the responsibility for most chores still falls on one person.
“While many families are taking steps to close the chore gap at home, there is still work to be done,” says Martin Hettich, SVP, P&G Home Care North America. “We believe that who we are at home shapes who we are in the world, and our research shows that when we create more equality at home, there is a positive ripple effect. Relationships improve. Children learn responsibility, respect, and empathy. Parents and children feel more connected. Come Clean to Close the Chore Gap aims to inspire every member of the family to do their part to create more equality at home as a small step towards creating more equality in the world.”
As people spend more time at home, the work required to keep the home clean has not only increased but has also become more visible, shedding light on areas of inequality in how household chores are divided and spurring some families to action. According to the research, 63% of women say that they take on the main responsibility for chores at home. Additionally, women spend an average of over 100 hours per year more on household chores than men. While this extra time is significant, equality in chores at home is improving as families spend more time together. One-third (34%) of Americans who live with their spouse say that being more aware of the household chores their significant other takes on has made them want to help out more. In addition, 47% of parents have also taken the time at home to engage their kids more in household chores.
Sharing and Discussing Chores Strengthens Relationships
While more time at home has certainly presented challenges, those that have taken the opportunity to recalibrate chores are experiencing relationship benefits. In fact, 52% of people living with their spouse report that the changed division of household chores has made them feel closer to one another and 44% say it has made them feel more respected.
“We need to follow an ownership start-to-finish mindset for housework, establishing roles and responsibilities, and communicating clearly,” said Eve Rodsky, author of New York Times Best-Seller Fair Play, “Not only is this model more efficient but it has a huge impact on our relationships. Unpaid work still falls disproportionately on women. That is why we’ve partnered with Dawn and Swiffer to take action and help people close the chore gap in their own homes.”
In general, LGBTQIA+ individuals are more likely to take on half of the household chores compared to their heterosexual peers (29% LGBTQIA+ vs. 19% heterosexual). Interestingly, these couples also report that they are more likely to talk about chores, indicating that having a dialogue around responsibilities is key to closing the chore gap.
Men Experience Positive Emotional Benefits from Helping at Home
Of the men surveyed, 43% say that being more aware of household chores that their significant other takes on has made them want to help out more. For the men who have seen a change in the division of chores at home, there are a slew of positive benefits that they reap, with 52% saying they feel happier, 54% saying they feel more respected and 68% saying their family is stronger.
Responsibility of Chores Can Help Children Become Better Citizens
Forty-six percent of parents feel the additional time spent at home has changed their children’s understanding of household chore responsibility and has had a positive impact. In fact, parents whose children have been helping out more during COVID-19 say that as a result, their kids have been more respectful (40%), more grateful (41%), and that it has led to a stronger relationship with them (32%).
Equality in Household Chores Creates a Positive Ripple Effect
There are several factors driving people to become more involved in chores including: wanting to be a good role model for their children (83% of parents); wanting to be fair to their partner/family (74% of parents who live with their spouse); they believe in shared responsibility (75%); they want to avoid conflict/argument (61%); and because sharing chores gives them more time together as a family (55% of parents).
“We’re in a time when three of our most important institutions—family, work, and school—are happening in the same physical space,” said Arianna Huffington, Founder and CEO of Thrive Global. “Our homes have become our most important organization, but we’re not treating them that way. So, we’re thrilled to partner with P&G around our shared belief that we have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to create a new normal that’s a better normal, where responsibilities are divided up in a clear, fair, and equitable way. Closing the chore gap and helping families share the mental load means less household stress not only for women— but for everyone.”
As part of the “Come Clean to Close the Chore Gap” campaign, Dawn and Swiffer have partnered with dozens of individuals and families—including actress Tia Mowry-Hardrict and husband actor Cory Hardrict; actor Max Greenfield; actor Jesse Tyler Ferguson and former NFL Player and ESPN Analyst Tedy Bruschi—to take a fresh look at the division of household work and promote equality at home.
Additionally, Dawn and Swiffer will air a television spot inviting families to Close the Chore Gap on CBS’ Super Bowl Pregame show, “The Super Bowl Today,” in an effort to promote positive conversations in households across America. “We know many families watch the Super Bowl together and it’s our hope that this message will spark a dialogue between them. Our research shows when we talk openly about the Chore Gap we are more likely to work together to close it,” said Hettich.
Continue the Momentum
For every person who visits closethechoregap.com and commits to closing the chore gap in their home, Dawn and Swiffer will donate products to help families in need keep their homes clean and healthy. The site offers tips and tools to make sharing chores easier at home, including information about partner S’moresUp, an app that is on a journey to democratize household management by making sharing chores easier and more rewarding for families.
“For more than 100 years, P&G has spent time with families, working to design products that make cleaning a little easier, a little more joyful, and importantly — able to be shared by everyone in the home,” said Hettich. “We’ve learned that everyone’s home is different—so everyone’s chore gap looks different—but we believe that when the chore gap gets smaller, things get better for all of us.”
Come Clean to Close the Chore Gap is part of P&G’s ongoing commitment to equality and inclusion and is among the Company’s efforts to deliver ‘2,021 Acts of Good in 2021.’ To learn more about the campaign, visit closethechoregap.com.