News & Current Affairs

Report: Hybrid Work Approach Proven Harmful to Women's Advancement, Expands Existing Inequalities

By Azeezat Okunlola | Mar 24, 2023
Hybrid work is still in its infancy, but recent research has shown how it has changed the lives of professional women. The Covid-19 epidemic has caused significant shifts in the workplace, one of which is the rise of the hybrid workforce. This new approach integrates elements of both remote and on-site working conditions.
The study by New LEAD at Krea University - IWWAGE - Zoom report has claimed that hybrid working models allow women greater control in how they utilise their time as opposed to in-person working models. Nonetheless, gender biases at home are one of the main obstacles for working women, and this is especially true in the hybrid working paradigm.
A total of 400 employed women were surveyed for this study; among them, 150 were engaged in some form of hybrid employment.
As much as 71 per cent of women decided to work in hybrid mode as per the sampled participants in the poll. Region-wise, 84 per cent of women selected hybrid employment in the western area of the country. Whereas 42 per cent of Eastern ladies opted for face-to-face meetings.
The survey found that women between the ages of 33 and 55 are more inclined to choose a more flexible work style, which it attributes to the prevailing age and hybrid culture trend. While most of the ladies were mandated to choose the hybrid option, few opted to do so. 35 per cent of respondents (below 30 years) opted for in-person employment even after being provided with the hybrid option, the survey noted.
It also found that hybrid employment was more common in some industries than others. 55 per cent of hybrid workers belong to the technology, pharmaceuticals and biotechnology, business, and consulting services sectors. Contrarily, 21 per cent of hybrid employees were employed in the retail, hospitality, healthcare, and entertainment industries.
Women who participated in the poll are reported to have seen an increase in their finances as a result of the hybrid work culture. Less money spent on petrol and other costs may explain this. To the tune of 89 per cent, hybrid employees say they no longer need to commute to work.
Women may find it more difficult to fully participate in hybrid workplaces because of the persistent gender gap in technology skill sets among workers making the shift to new modes of work.
Of the women in the sample, about a third work in a technology-intensive industry and report having trouble adapting to the new technology their company uses for hybrid working.
Similarly, a lack of an organization-wide culture that supports hybrid work is cited as a major drawback, particularly among women in the technology (63 per cent) and business and consulting (57 per cent) fields.
Many hybrid workers in non-metropolitan areas also have difficulties with infrastructure. More than half of Americans believe that living outside of a big city is a disadvantage because of the discrepancy in resources between the home and the workplace.
Mansi, and 44 per cent of hybrid workers feel the same way about the impact on women's access to professional networking.
"There is an expectation that you are at home, you can do this, you can multitask. You can pick up the children in between - you can take care of an ageing parent while you’re home. And as a result, the same expectations are not held for men when they are working from home. And the expectations may not always be imposed by others but self-imposed...," a gender specialist said.
"With access to the right enabling infrastructure, hybrid work has the potential to provide flexible employment opportunities to women beyond metros. But the option to work remotely and the ease of transition to hybrid work varies by women’s location (metro/other), seniority levels, and sector. Future efforts can focus on bridging data gaps, building use cases for hybrid work across industries and geographies, and creating enabling policies for equitable participation in the workforce," said Preethi Rao, Associate Director, LEAD at Krea University.
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