Flexible Work Arrangements May Help Close the Gender Gap

With more and more job seekers making a push toward working remotely, research indicates that flexibility regarding work hours and locations could go a long way in closing the gender pay gap.

According to a Pew survey, seventy percent of working mothers say that having a flexible work schedule is very important to them. Women especially are disadvantaged in careers that reward long hours at the office because they usually bear the brunt of housework and child-care responsibilities which require their presence at home. In fact, when educated mothers stop working after having children, it is often because they feel pushed out by demanding employers with limited flexibility. However, letting employees work from home is not always feasible and would not automatically solve pay gaps. Service jobs, particularly those held by women who have little education, have much less flexibility in work hours than positions held by professional women. Other industries such as teaching and nursing also require set hours and could not prosper if employees had the option to make their own schedules. Still, for the vast number of jobs that can be performed in a flexible way, businesses should consider the potential benefits of workplace flexibility, including increased employee satisfaction, reduced turnover and improved productivity.