“There are some brilliant female role models in our sector, and IT is increasingly being recognised as a great career option for women. We’ve also got more legislation in place to protect women in the workplace than ever before, and more and more calls for greater diversity and more women in the boardroom.”
Further to this, asserts Victoria Browne, technology is a driving factor in aiding women to reach the top of IT businesses and into board rooms. A large part of this is the “working from home” aspect of flexible working that allows women who wish to pursue both a career and a family achieve this. She states that:
Companies that implement home working practices are likely to be able to benefit from a more diverse workforce.
Giving women the option to have both a family and career benefits the employer as it means that they can hold on to top talent within the business by ensuring that they are supported in their decisions. Maggie Berry also hopes that increasing conversations around the benefits of home working will highlight the fact that it is not only women who have choices to make around home life and work life, but men as well. More and more often men are choosing to leave their career path to pursue a family life, and this is a key insight that must not be over looked.
When Cisco conducted an industry survey a few months back, the research revealed that 61% of employees believe they don’t need to be in an office to be productive – and two-thirds of employees place a higher value on workplace flexibility than salary. Attitudes toward working remotely have certainly shifted over recent years, as working from home is no longer seen as a privilege – it’s expected.
Many companies purport to have a good flexible working or home working culture, but this is not always the reality. The key to a successful strategy often comes down to resources and high level support of the program. Technology is improving a company’s ability to allow home working and ability to retain diverse talent.
It would be great to hear your thoughts and experiences of the benefits and pitfalls of flexible/home working.