The post-pandemic world of hybrid work should be a great leap forwards for gender equality. working from home (WFH) is freedom from the 9-to-5 routine, meaning flexible working is easier than ever. For the first time, the stigma of WFH has started to be removed and carers – who are statistically more likely to be women – are free, at last, to balance the needs of home and work life.
That is the theory.
In practice, hybrid work may turn out to be a giant leap backwards for gender equality unless it is well managed.
An unequal playing field
The decision to work at home or in the office is gender-biased. A CMI survey from 2022 found that male managers are more likely than female managers to work completely or mostly from the office (48% to 38%). In contrast, female managers are more likely than male managers to work completely or mostly remotely (40% to 31%), with women often bearing the burden of caring responsibilities at home.
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