Is remote work more inclusive?

Amaury de Thibault
February 14, 2021

The physical landscape of the office has changed a lot over the last two years. Before COVID hit, it’s estimated that only 20% of the workforce could work remotely. But national lockdowns saw that figure rise to as high as 70% in some areas. This means a lot of us have worked from our homes, from our kitchen tables, our sofas, and even our beds (not that we’re going to admit to that last one!), in the past 24 months.

And now, even with reduced measures in place in many countries, the majority of office workers are reluctant to return to a more conventional workplace. In fact, over half of the people who worked remotely at the height of the pandemic say they want to transition into a fully remote role, regardless of government restrictions.

But how important is a remote or flexible working policy to you?

A 2020 study by Zapier reveals that 62% of female knowledge professionals - that’s programmers, teachers, engineers, lawyers, accountants, journalists, etc. - consider working from home to be a top perk when it comes to applying for jobs.

Their report also shows that:

- 24% of female workers say they have quit a job because the company was unable to offer them a flexible work schedule, vs. 17% of male workers.
- 50% of women report being more productive when working from home, vs. 37% of men.
- Conversely, 35% of male respondents said they are more productive in the office, vs. 27% of female workers.

Which begs the question, what is different about remote working for women?

Well, remote companies are more inclusive workplaces, overall. They are more accessible for workers with disabilities, more accommodating of the LGBTQ community, and they bring together people from different backgrounds, including workers from racial and cultural minorities, creating a space for all kinds of different voices to be heard.  

For women, especially, they offer greater flexibility (even to those who might otherwise struggle to find a job), and give them more chances to progress in their careers. Yes, indeed. In a 2021 review conducted by the BBC, it was revealed that 56% of women thought working from home would help them progress at work. And 65% of managers agreed.

How is remote working more inclusive?

1. Remote work gives women more agency

We recognize that not all working women are or want to be moms. And there are many inclusive benefits of remote working for all women, regardless of whether they have children or not. However, there’s no doubt that remote work offers parents (both mothers and fathers) greater flexibility when it comes to childcare.

If you’re a new mom, returning to work can be an especially difficult decision. But remote/hybrid working solutions might help ease some of the feelings of helplessness, anxiety, and guilt you’ve experienced. And if you’re nursing, remote work gives you more privacy to feed your baby than an open plan office does.

In short, remote work offers working moms a lot more flexibility and choice, allowing them to do what’s best for their family, their finances, and their career, all at the same time.

2. Remote work promotes equal communication

Over the last 50 years, studies have found that women are more likely to be interrupted in the workplace than men - both by their male and their female colleagues. But remote companies are levelling the playing field, giving everyone the chance to have their say, regardless of how they identify.

That’s because distributed teams, especially those working across timezones, rely more on written communication to check in with their team members than centralized teams do. Messaging apps for business, like Slack, allow you to send private messages, create groups, and start threads to follow conversations. This means you can share your opinion without being interrupted (only hit “Send” when you are ready!), collaborate with your team, and cycle back to anything that might have been missed.

And did you know? Not only is Slack facilitating inclusive remote working for other companies, but they introduced a permanent flexible working policy for their own employees in 2020.

3. Remote work provides opportunities for marginalized women  

For some women, remote working may be their only chance to have their own career. Let’s quickly look at military spouses as an example.

In the US, 93% of military spouses are women, and the unemployment rate in this bracket is 6x higher than the national average. They move around a lot for their husbands’ work, maybe in places where they don’t speak the language, and the primary caregiving responsibilities for children fall to them. But by removing the geographical barrier and offering greater flexibility if childcare is needed, remote jobs provide the perfect opportunity for women in this position.

This applies to anyone in the civilian world, too. So, if your partner travels a lot for work and you currently work in a traditional office setting, it may be worth exploring your company's remote work policies or considering flexible working as an option.

However, despite the clear benefits of remote working, specifically for women, the remote work report also suggests that women are less likely to be offered remote work opportunities than men. 40% of women say their companies do not allow remote work vs. 25% of men in the same bracket.

Our solution? Find a fully remote, inclusive role with Stakha.

The tech industry is highly competitive, and right now, it’s largely dominated by men. On average, there are 10 men for every woman in this field. And in some cases, these women are earning up to 28% less than their equivalent male colleagues per year.

At Stakha, we want to change that.

It’s our belief that all candidates should be treated equally, irrespective of gender, age, location, culture, etc. And that hiring across borders can be an advantage rather than a setback. We just want to find the right person for the job, no matter where they live, to keep both our candidates and our clients happy.

And so far, we think we're succeeding! 25% of the candidates placed by Stakha have been women, receiving an average annual salary of 70k€.

So, if you’re looking for a competitive, full-time tech role in an inclusive environment, and you think you’ve got what it takes, sign up to Stakha and take a look at our list of current vacancies today!