Flexible, hybrid work is here to stay. This is good news for innovation.
Why? Because innovation surges when diversity increases, and one thing that remote and hybrid workplaces have enabled is more diverse hiring.
According to Microsoft’s 2021 Work Trend Index (WTI), remote-work opportunities were found to be more attractive to diverse applicants, including women, Gen Z job seekers (those currently aged 18 to 25), while those without a graduate degree were more likely to apply for remote positions on LinkedIn.
For gender diversity in the workplace, remote work is driving much-needed improvement.
Global statistics on gender equality in employment reveal a deeply entrenched disparity, with men participating more in the labour force and advancing more within it than their female counterparts.
Alarmingly, if we remain on the current hiring and promoting trajectory, it will take over 135 years to close the gender gap worldwide, according to the World Economic Forum (WEF) in its latest 2021 Global Gender Gap Report.
The pandemic has served to widen this gap, with WEF sharing early projections that show five per cent of all employed women lost their jobs in the resulting economic disruption, compared with 3.9 per cent of employed men.
Women are also poorly represented in the “jobs of the future” sector. Such roles arose alongside digital transformation, which accelerated rapidly in response to the pandemic, with businesses being forced to operate online during lockdown closures of physical spaces.
Only 18 per cent of Kenya’s firms have women in top management positions.
Clearly, more work must be done to bridge the employment gender divide. But being able to work remotely has opened many new career opportunities for workers across the globe.