The pandemic and the great leap backwards for gender equality

Written by Jo Owen CMgr CCMI Tuesday 07 March 2023
The post-Covid world should promise greater flexibility for workers. But with remote workers more likely to be female, does it instead encourage an unequal playing field? To prevent this, we must manage it well, says one CMI Companion
CMI staff making the Embrace Equity sign with their arms for International Women's Day 2023


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.

Keep reading to learn how to manage hybrid work equitably for all


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