I received my first invitation to a National Women’s Day event yesterday. Which started me thinking…Is hybrid work a women’s issue? I think it might be.
As the Omicron wave passes, bosses will be again saying it’s time to return to the office. That spells disaster for many women in the workforce.
So many of our workforce practices are built around a paternalistic view of ‘work’.
Going to the office is problematic because, let’s fact it, the burden of child rearing continues to fall on women.
‘Affordable’ childcare was supposed to fix inequality in Australia but failed to materialise. And don’t get me started on what’s on offer in the US.
If we’re to finally consign Don Draper to the dustbin of history, I think we need to embrace what we’ve learned through the pandemic – working from home provides better work/life balance and it doesn’t sacrifice productivity.
Recognizing the return to the office as a feminist issue could be the key to unlocking women’s workforce participation and doing something concrete about the gender pay gap.
Business leaders must now consider that to attract the right staff, they have to question long-held beliefs that no longer serve a purpose.