We have written a lot about gender issues in the past, and today I’m going to set a pendulum in motion that may seem swingingly odd, but I am curious to get your feedback on the momentum of the matter.

Over the last couple of years or so, I have generally noticed that women take longer to return a business call than men.  Am I alone in thinking this?  Have I gone crazy?

Nothing peeves me more than making a business call, having to leave a message, and then lingering around waiting to get called back.  The unspoken rule is you return a business call the day the call comes in, or you at least return the call the next day, within a 24-hour window of receiving the call.

In my unofficial study of getting calls returned, men call me back 99.99% of the time the very same day — usually within minutes of me making the initial call.

Women, on the other hand, almost always — 99.99% of the time call back the next day — and sometimes it takes them up to three days to return a simple business call.

Why is that?  What’s happening?

Are men more eager and motivated to get things done and off their task list while women are more relaxed and at ease in the office?

Do men honor unspoken timelines more aggressively than women?

I realize even having this discussion risks sexist labeling, but I wouldn’t mention the matter if my experience with the issue wasn’t wide-ranging and varied across the USA.

I am not better friends with the men than the women.  Nobody really knows who I am or what I want.  I’m as anonymous as the next person.  The only clue to my gender would be my voice left on an answering service and my only clue to their gender is when they return my call and I hear their voice and get their name.


  1. David,

    I have honestly never noticed that to be the case. I make numerous business calls every day and pretty much without fail, the ratios balance out. I suppose in my industry it behooves the people to call me back — get their claims paid, etc.

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