Flexible working and gender equality : What we need to do to meet gender diversity and performance enhancing targets at the same time Across the world, there is a new awareness of gender inequalities with an increasing demand to tackle this issue. In the UK, in 2018 the government set up new requirements for large companies to publish their gender pay gap. Not only has this raised awareness of the extent to which women are paid less, it has also led to many looking hard to find solutions.
Heejung Chung Reader in Sociology and Social Policy at the University of Kent tells four stories of flexible workers to illustrate whether flexible working can help reduce gender inequalities in the labour market and at home. She argues how introducing flexible working alone can lead to stigma, long hours work, increased stress levels for mothers and possibly a more traditionalisation of gender roles. She invites us to rethink our work cultures to think of flexible working and better work-life balance of workers as a productivity enhancing tool to increase company performance.