How remote work is brdiging gender gap in workplaces

One of the major benefits of remote work experts have seen is the gap in gender disparity it is bridging. The experts believe that remote work is driving much-needed improvement in gendered diversity in the workplace.

They frequently cite global statistics on gender equality in employment which reveal a deeply entrenched disparity, with men participating more in the labour force and advancing more within it than their female counterparts.

“Innovation surges when diversity increases and one thing that remote and hybrid workplaces have enabled is more diverse hiring,” Ola Williams, Country Manager for Microsoft Nigeria, noted in a statement at the weekend, citing Microsoft’s 2021 Work Trend Index (WTI).

Williams cited WTI further where it notes that remote-work opportunities were found to be more attractive to diverse applicants, including women, Gen Z job-seekers (those currently aged 18 to 25), adding that those without a graduate degree were more likely to apply for remote positions on LinkedIn.

He argued that if the current hiring and promoting trajectory remained, it would take about 135 years to close the gender gap worldwide, saying that this was the finding of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in its latest 2021 Global Gender Gap Report.

According to him, the pandemic has served to widen this gap, with WEF sharing early projections that show 5 percent of all employed women lost their jobs in the resulting economic disruption, compared with 3.9 percent of employed men. “Women are also poorly represented in the ‘jobs of the future’ sector,” he noted.

Read also: Employee Marketplace Initiative seeks a balance for Nigerian women in workplace

Continuing, Williams said, “such roles arose alongside digital transformation which accelerated rapidly in response to the pandemic with businesses being forced to operate online during lockdown closures of physical spaces. WEF found that only two of the eight jobs of the future that they tracked had reached gender equality. For example, there are only 32.4 percent of women in Data and AI-focused roles across the world.”

A look at employment gender parity and the category of Economic Participation and Opportunity in Nigeria shows favourable results for sub-Saharan Africa, according to WEF, which says that the region has closed just over 66 percent of the gender gap.

By so doing, the region has outperformed the global average of 58.3 percent, but homing in on a per-country view shows this progress varies wildly.

“Out of the 156 countries surveyed globally, Nigeria comes in at 139 on the list for overall gender parity, placing it at number 32 out of the 35 countries surveyed across sub-Saharan Africa,” Williams said.

“Nigeria fares far better looking at gendered hiring and promoting, ranking 78 globally in the Economic Participation and Opportunity category. While participation between men and women in the country’s labour force shows slight disparity (19.9 million women versus 22.9 million men), senior roles are largely gendered in favour of men. Just under 14 percent of Nigeria’s firms have women in top management positions. Clearly, more work must be done to bridge the employment gender divide in Nigeria,” he added.

Williams noted that being able to work remotely has opened many new career opportunities for workers across the globe, adding that not being confined to one geographical area means the ability to accept jobs based anywhere.

“As the WTI notes, this fundamental shift expands economic opportunity for individuals and enables organisations to build high-performing, diverse teams from a near-limitless talent pool,” he said.

The index found that the number of women applying for remote work over locally based jobs on LinkedIn increased by 6percent. This growing trend presents an opportunity for business leaders to hire a more diverse team where women are equally represented.

Widget Code-