Long-term flexible work options could be a game-changer for women

Finding a balance between work and home is an overwhelming task for any parent, but statistics show women spend a disproportionate amount of time juggling housework and childcare responsibilities.

Data from a Pew Research Center study suggests women are most often the ones who adjust their careers for family. Among working parents of children younger than 18, mothers in 2013 spent an average of 14.2 hours per week on housework, compared with fathers’ 8.6 hours. And mothers spent 10.7 hours per week actively engaged in child care, compared with fathers’ 7.2 hours.

The current health crisis has, in many ways, forced employees to work from home and in turn, forced employers to experience the reality of work-from-home options and more flexible work schedules. And so, this new approach could positively affect working women. They could begin to have more flexibility to work around the additional responsibilities they have.

According to the Family Caregiver Alliance, more than 75% of all caregivers are female and many spend as much as 50% more time providing care than males, [Institute on Aging. (2016). So, many women out there are re struggling to tackle a work-life balance, which in many cases, leads to women choosing family over a career. A July 2019 FlexJobs survey backs up this theory indicating 31% of women who took a break in their career after having kids wanted to keep working, but reported that their job was too inflexible to remain in the workforce.

So, with the current health crisis pushing both employees and employers into the age of flexible schedules and work-from-home opportunities, it is predicted more women (and men) will begin requesting more flexible options. And, more employers will begin granting those requests.


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