One step companies can take to keep female talent from leaving

Kalila Sangster
·2 min read
Laughing businesswoman working at workstation in office
Moving towards remote working could help narrow the gender gap in tech. Photo: Getty

More than a third (36%) of women would be likely to stay with their current employer between five and 10 years longer if they were able to work flexibly, a new report has found.

Some 70% of women employed in the UK tech sector would be likely to stay with their current company for at least a year longer if they could carry out their role from anywhere and live where they chose, according to The Global Workplace Revolution report, developed from research carried out by Sapio on behalf of global talent company Remote.

The majority (57%) of women working in tech placed more importance on flexibility than traditional 9-5 hours, and 53% said they would be open to working flexible hours to collaborate with colleagues in other time zones.

Female representation in the UK tech sector stands at just 16%. Moving towards remote working could help narrow the gender gap in tech, as 45% of women think greater international remote working would make the tech industry more global and inclusive.

READ MORE: Top 10 most in-demand job skills in the UK

Over half (53%) of female tech workers agree that the tech industry needs to work harder to remove barriers to gender and racial equality and 57% said that providing greater opportunities to the best and brightest would help to rebuild trust in the industry.

Debbie Forster, CEO of the Tech Talent Charter, which campaigns for greater inclusion and diversity in the UK tech sector, said: “The gender gap in UK tech is well-acknowledged but companies have been slow to address it.

“With remote working now at the top of the agenda across the sector, companies have a golden opportunity to use this in a way that attracts and retains more female talent.”

Many businesses have successfully made the transition to remote working due to lockdown restrictions during the coronavirus pandemic, leading firms to reconsider how to retain the best talent in a challenging business environment — flexible working could potentially benefit working women who are more likely to be combining caring responsibilities than men working in similar roles.

READ MORE: Bosses tell female employees to be ‘sexier’ for work video meetings

Elisa Rossi, head of growth at Remote, said: “COVID-19 has had a disproportionate effect on professional women who are more likely to have to juggle work and domestic responsibilities.

“While there’s no quick fix solution for this, our research suggests companies that focus on innovative remote and flexible working opportunities are more likely to hang on to their best talent.”