The term “lazy girl jobs” has taken social media and corporate circles by storm. Coined as a response to burnout culture, the trend has seen mixed reactions. Liz Kofman-Burns, PhD, a sociologist and co-founder of DEI consultancy Peoplism, helps us understand why this phenomenon has gained so much traction and what it means for women in the workforce.
According to Kofman-Burns, the ‘lazy girl jobs’ trend is more than just a protest against burnout. It’s indicative of women’s resignation to systemic inequality in the workplace. She explained: “Men still hold almost 80% of C-level positions in the US, despite women making up 38% of managerial roles. In our DEIB surveys at Peoplism, women consistently feel they don’t have an equal shot at success.”
She emphasises that while men don’t seek “lazy boy jobs”, it’s primarily because they have ample opportunities to climb the corporate ladder. For women, the ‘glass ceiling’ still appears unbreakable, making them question the effort they put into their careers, particularly during childrearing years.
When asked about the inherent privilege of landing a “lazy girl job”, Kofman-Burns is unequivocal. “This trend is not a broader anti-capitalist statement but rather speaks to the disillusionment among well-educated women about the lack of equity in workplaces,” she says. She also highlights that automation and AI threaten even these roles, further exacerbating the disillusionment.
Kofman-Burns views the trend as a mixed bag. While it could be a coping mechanism for disillusioned women, she argues that its real benefit would be in promoting mental health and work-life balance. According to her, the US can take lessons from countries like Sweden, where work is secondary to personal, family, and civic life.
For this cultural shift to happen, Kofman-Burns believes men need to join the “lazy girl jobs” bandwagon. “If more men rejected the idea of all-consuming jobs for a better work-life balance, it would force employers and governments to create a more humane working environment,” she opined.
While many view the “lazy girl jobs” trend as a quirky internet meme or a critique of capitalism, Liz Kofman-Burns helps us see it as a reflection of a more complex reality. It’s a symptom of a broken system where women, despite their skills and ambitions, feel disheartened by a lack of equal opportunities.
As Kofman-Burns succinctly puts it, “This is more about resignation among well-educated women disillusioned with the lack of equity in the workplace than a broader anti-capitalist commentary.”