Will working from home hurt women’s career advancement?
Bank of England monetary committee member Catherine Mann caused a stir in the U.K. media last week after explaining that, due to childcare and schooling issues, more women are working remotely and will likely continue to do so. Consequently, she said, women risk getting caught in a “she-cession” and missing opportunities for advancement.
Video conferencing and other virtual work methods, she contends, can’t replicate spontaneous office interactions that support recognition and advancement in many workplaces.
“There is the potential for two tracks,” she said at an event for women in finance hosted by Financial News. “There’s the people who are on the virtual track and people who are on the physical track. And I do worry that we will see those two tracks develop, and we will pretty much know who’s going to be on which track, unfortunately.”
Ms. Mann’s opinion ran counter to a recent YouGov survey taken in August finding 56 percent of British women saying they thought working from home would help them progress at work, as childcare and other domestic duties become less of a hindrance to working full-time.
A FlexJobs survey taken over March and April found 80 percent of women indicating remote work options are among the most important factors to consider when evaluating a new job versus 69 percent of men.
Women, according to the study, were less concerned than men about the challenges of remote work, including collaborating and managing coworker relationships. They also favored many of the top benefits of remote working, such as better work-life balance and more control/flexibility over work schedules.
A recent survey of Millennial women by theSkimm found two-thirds saying remote options are a priority, with 65 percent believing they have better work-life balance when working remotely.
Two-thirds in the survey, however, believe they are missing opportunities by not being in the office where they can discuss their career goals and development. Seventy-six percent said they miss seeing friends and colleagues; more than half think working on-site helps provide routine and a set place to work; and 40 percent feel more pressure to go back to the office if they know their male colleagues are there.
- Women working from home risk being caught in a ‘she-cession’ – The Guardian
- Women warned home working may harm their careers – BBC
- Working from home may hurt women’s careers, says Bank of England’s Mann – Reuters
- What will increased remote working mean for Britain? – YouGov
- Survey: Men & Women Experience Remote Work Differently – FlexJobs
- theSkimm Survey Reveals Millennial Women’s Attitudes on Remote Work, Announces Panel on Back To “Normal” – theSkimm
- Millennial women want remote work, but many fear they’ll miss opportunities if not in office, according to report – CNBC
- How the Coronavirus Outbreak Has – and Hasn’t – Changed the Way Americans Work – Pew Research
- Women’s ambition plummeted during the coronavirus pandemic, as careers stalled and burnout spiked – CNBC
- For women, remote work is a blessing and a curse – Vox
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Is the work-from-home trend a positive or negative for women’s career development and retailer’s overall gender equality goals? Do you agree remote workers face greater challenges with advancement or that they can overcome the potential obstacles?