Current Flexible Working is Not Enough for Women in Business

Mum and daughter on computer The Working Better report by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) revealed that 36 per cent of women are not offered flexible working opportunities from their employers even though 88 per cent of them feel that such arrangements are important. In addition, only one-quarter of women felt that they had the same access to good jobs as their male counterparts after having children compared to 40 per cent of men who felt this way.

Nicola Brewer, chief executive of the EHRC, said: "Flexibility is a tool many British businesses use to unlock talent. Changing the way we approach parental leave could be one way of tackling the gender pay gap." To help the situation, just a few weeks ago, the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform announced that the right to request flexible working is to be extended from parents with children under the age of six to parents with children under the age of 16 - a potential boon to parents who realise that children of all ages need their parents around.

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  • mhairi

    I’m not a parent and don’t intent to become one, but even I can see that mere work has to take second place to raising the next generation. (Who do we think’s going to be paying our pensions and taking care of us in our old age?)
    How apalling that although women take the largest part in family care, they feel they have less access than men to flexible working.

  • B Mann

    Offering flexible working becomes more important as the children become older – preschool children can attend all-day nurseries, but as soon as they go to school you have to work 9-5 (or 6, or 7…) while the children are only at school from 9 till 3. You only need one child at school to experience the logistical problem here. It’s at this point women often find it hardest to continue full hours, especially if they have more than one child now taken care of in different locations! Even if they are taken care of in after-school clubs, they shut at 6 and you find yourself rushing out of meetings in a fluster as you have to pick up children on time!