October 5, 2017
The majority (83 percent) of workers view flexible working as an important benefit to them but two thirds (66 percent) believe that taking up flexible working halts progression at work. One of the reasons for this dichotomy suggests the results of the Hays UK Gender Diversity Report 2017, is because nearly a third (32 percent) of employees believe men will be viewed as less committed to their career if they take up shared parental leave, and women are less likely to be promoted after having children. While a majority (84 percent) of workers say it’s important that flexible working options are available to them in their workplace, many choose not to take any, and two-thirds think doing so will have a negative impact on their career. Women perceive it will have a negative impact, with over three-quarters (76 percent) reporting this concern and 65 percent of men. Interestingly, both men and women think flexible working options have helped improve the gender balance in senior roles, with 61 percent saying flexible working has improved the representation of women in senior positions, indicating that employers need to address and overturn the negative perception of flexible working and communicate its benefits.