Women optimistic about flexible job opportunities

Woman working part-time from home


The latest survey by WM People’s flagship brand, workingmums.co.uk showed that having more flexible jobs advertised will help women progress or change track.

Seventy-three per cent of working mums are optimistic that Covid-19 will mean more flexible jobs being advertised, and three quarters said that they would be more likely to change jobs as a result.

The survey illustrates how a lack of new flexible job opportunities has held back women’s career progression in the past. Indeed,  twenty-eight per cent of those surveyed said flexible working had affected their career progression – but women are still ambitious. Forty-two per cent said they wanted to be a senior leader compared to 39% who said they didn’t.

The survey of over 1,300 mums also showed women are becoming more confident in demanding flexible working and turning down roles that are not flexible enough. Over half [53%] said they had turned down a job because it was not flexible enough for their needs.

Meanwhile, while self employment has traditionally been something many mums have at least been considering in order to get greater flexibility, the survey shows a greater sense of caution around self employment after the pandemic. Sixty-four per cent said were less likely to want to be self employed after Covid, mainly due to it being too risky, although 29% said they were more likely to go self employed, principally due to a lack of jobs or a lack of flexible jobs in their sector or area.

Other figures show:

  • 37% say that the pandemic has made them more likely to want to work remotely and 36% are more likely to want to work in a hybrid way
  • 22% have had a flexible working request turned down.
  • 14% have had a flexible working arrangement which was then taken away by their employer
  • 41% of those who had been denied flexible working left as a result
  • 42% have never had flexible working.

Gillian Nissim, founder of WM People said: “Our survey results present an interesting snapshot of the potential impact of Covid-19 on work patterns. While there is optimism about the opening up of more flexible roles in response to not just increased demand, but evidence that many jobs can be done more flexibly, there is concern that it is likely to be women who take up this option more, with that having an effect on their career progression. Our survey shows that women clearly do want to progress and are more than willing to move on if they don’t get what they need and flexible jobs are available. Employers need to ensure that progression is possible in flexible jobs, including part-time roles, if they want to retain that talent and that men are also encouraged to take up flexible options and don’t feel their careers will be damaged as a result.”

To see more figures from the recent survey visit workingmums.co.uk

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