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2022 Trends: Women in the Workplace

In celebration of International Women's Day, we are taking a look at some of the key 2022 workplace trends and how these will impact women within the workplace. Before we dive in, let’s consider why we celebrate International Women’s Day.

Why do we celebrate International Women’s Day?

International Women's Day (March 8) is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating women's equality. This year, the theme is #BreakTheBias

Imagine a gender equal world. A world free of bias, stereotypes, and discrimination. A world that is diverse, equitable, and inclusive. A world where difference is valued and celebrated. Together we can forge women's equality. Collectively we can all #BreakTheBias.

What is impacting women in the workplace in 2022?

There are a range of ongoing factors that affect women in the workplace. This includes equal pay, flexible working, gender bias, less role models in senior positions, sexual harassment and gender stereotypes. We have seen a range of workplace trends affect everyone, male and female, since COVID-19 first began to spread in 2020.

Here we will explore some of the key factors impacting the workplace in 2022, and how business leaders can look to overcome these.

Remote working

There is a clear gender dynamic when choosing the remote work option. In a survey last year, 19% of women said they never want to return to in-person work, compared to only 7% of men. A more recent LinkedIn survey finds that women are 26% more likely than men to apply to work remotely. Other research finds that women want to work from home 50% more than men among college graduates with young children.

Flexible work arrangements saw a huge increase during the periods where employees were expected to work from home. This allowed employees’ to best manage their career and personal priorities. Once seen as an employee benefit or an accommodation for caregivers (primarily women), flexible work arrangements are now an effective tool for employers to attract top talent as well as a cost-savings measure to reduce turnover, productivity, and absenteeism.

What can leaders do?

  • Switch their focus to productivity and results, and not time spent at the desk.

  • Seek out managers who currently work flexibly and find out what works and what doesn’t.

  • Complete a productivity analysis to see how flexible work arrangements affect your business, if you do not see a negative trend, there is no compelling reason for all staff to be in the office at all times.

Equal pay

Women around the world continue to face a wage gap. In fact, the gender pay gap in the UK in 2021 was 15.4% (source). Although we have seen this figure decrease year on year, there is still work to be done to ensure women are earning the same as their male counterparts.

What can leaders do?

• Ensure that there are no gaps in your workplace by doing a wage audit.

• Implement a “no negotiations” policy.

• Support pay transparency.

• Evaluate recruitment, promotion, and talent development systems for gender bias.

Lack of role models in senior positions

​​You can’t be what you can’t see. Research completed by Catalyst shows that almost two-thirds of women reported a lack of senior or visibly successful female role models as a major obstacle to their career advancement.

The below graph shows the disproportion of men and women, as well as men and women of colour, in different levels of roles. You can see that for every 62 white males in a C-suite position, there are just 4 women of colour.

What can leaders do?

  • Be intentional about appointing highly qualified women to your executive team, corporate board, C-suite, and/or CEO position.

  • Run regular events led by senior women within your organisation so that entry level staff can see the opportunity they have to develop and work their way up within your organisation.

  • Set up an in work mentoring programme for new female staff to be mentored by experienced staff within the business to support their career development.

We hope you found this trend report helpful and are able to implement some of the actionable takeaways to help #BreakTheBias within your organisation. If you need support to increase the number of female apprentices within your business, please get in touch.

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