Can remote work help close the gender gap? 👩
Just the other day, my wife, who works in B2B sales (tech), was telling me how the senior management of her business group at MakeMyTrip (a NASDAQ listed company) has no women leaders and it will be an exception if she makes it to the top, few years down the line.
While saddening, this didn't surprise me. I know women are quite underrepresented and discriminated with respect to pay, position, etc. However, it got me thinking whether remote work addresses any of these problems.
Before getting into that, let me briefly touch upon what gender gap in the modern workplace looks like.
The workforce gender gap
Let's quickly look at some stats which would reinforce the reality that we are already aware of:
- Working mothers find it difficult to advance in their career - 51% of the women surveyed in this report say that having children makes it harder for them to focus on career.
- Women are paid less when compared to male counterparts - As popularly known, this recent study saw 25% women report getting paid lesser than a man doing the same job.
- Women are less likely to get promoted or to get a raise - This Harvard study shows that while women ask for a raise as often as men, they are less likely to get it.
How remote work helps women achieve workplace equality
While the points I shared around gender gap might not come as a surprise to most of you, it had to be said again. So with that done, here's my take on how remote work could actually help address these issues.
- Flexibility for working parents - If you haven't already, I would recommend you to read through this wonderful blog by Brenna from Doist. Being a working parent (especially a mother) is tough and she outlines how remote work makes it a little easier to focus on work while caring for your child.
- Finding the right firm without geographical constraints - It might be tough for you to find a company in your city or town that doesn't discriminate on pay or work basis your gender. However, with remote work, you naturally expand your access to firms and roles that value your skills and work.
- Remote-first companies are aligned to the present & future - Beyond having values that are aligned with the current times, when you work remotely, you are evaluated based on your output, rather than just posturing. As a result your promotions and raises also depend on just that - your performance.
Survey data that indicates women working remotely are thriving
Let's back this logic with data, shall we? I landed on this recent survey conducted by Ultimate Software. Here are a few hard facts from the report that will leave you pleasantly surprised:
- 57% of women remote workers reported being promoted the previous year whereas only 35% of in-office women said so.
- 67% of women who work remotely agree that HR is aware of their needs, compared to 57% in-office women employees.
- Finally, 42% of in-office women said they felt guilty to take a day-off compared to only 28% remote women.
Still a long way ahead
While the premise and initial data seem promising, there's still a lot of ground to cover. If you compare the above stats for men, you will see that they do exceedingly well, be it an in-office or remote setting.
The key takeaway is that remote work can indeed be that additional support or push needed to close the gender gap in the modern workplace. However, we still need to address a lot of concerns to make our workplace, in-office or remote, more inclusive.
I would love to hear your thoughts on this. Do you have any personal experiences to share around this?
Update on P1E12 from last week
Zane Shelby, who worked earlier with Upworthy, wrote back saying they executed the P1E12 model at Upworthy - 2 team and 2 all-company meetups. In effect, 4 weeks of collaborative work each year.
Remote Working Chronicles - I left my cozy consulting job and 2+ hours commute to redesign my life
Steph Smith is popularly known for her side projects and accompanying successful launches on Product Hunt. She also started her own blog in 2019, which received great response. In this piece, she takes us through her entire remote work journey, what she likes/ dislikes about remote and also shares a few helpful tips along the way!
As always, here are our top-picks of remote-first products:
🎯 Caveday provides group focus sessions for remote workers over video
🎬 Devtendo helps you send quick video updates & create training material
📚 Remote Planet has curated content for remote workers & digital nomads
💼 DailyRemote is a remote job board across multiple categories
🖊 Axure is a prototyping tool for developer handoff