A workplace study, conducted by Mercer in partnership with AECOM, suggests flexible work programs can help retain working women if designed thoughtfully


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AECOM partners on workplace study with Mercer

AECOM partners on workplace study with Mercer

 February 26, 2021

AECOM has partnered with Mercer on a study of workplace values and perceptions which was featured by Fast Company.

It detailed how organizations can avoid the pitfalls of flexible work, and build cultures and policies that make new working arrangements successful.

Written by Mercer President and CEO Martine Ferland, the Fast Company article outlines how, in response to a gender equality crisis, reversing this troubling trend and continuing to build women’s contribution to the workforce must begin with organizations redoubling their efforts to diversify their own workforces. "One key strategy employers can use to do so is expand access to flexible work. Flexible work offerings can help employees struggling with domestic labor, regardless of gender. Broad access to these working arrangements can encourage households to more equally distribute the burden of domestic work, and ultimately relieve women, who are currently more likely to drop out of the workforce due to family obligations," said Martine.

Martine highlights the research undertaken with AECOM that shows that 56% of employees would attempt to switch jobs if their employers do not offer flexible work policies after the pandemic. Meanwhile, over half of managers value office work more highly than work done at home, despite the fact that flexible working options can benefit women who have care responsibilities. 

Without flexible work options, Martine suggests that women's careers could suffer and the inequality gap could widen.

Based on the results on the AECOM study, Martine details strategies organizations should follow when expanding flexible work options. These include keeping remote workers engaged with the workplace through networking, connectivity, and mentorships; ensuring remote work is recognized; and being open to alternative types of flexibility in terms of when employees work, how they work, and what work they do.

"In 2019, women’s labor participation rate was just shy of an all-time high. Women had made significant progress in share of managerial roles. Women’s poverty rates were falling. To return to that trend and draw women back into the workforce, retain talent that is demanding more options in the workplace, and boost corporate performance through gender diversity, organizations must embrace the many lessons of flexible work that we have learned over the course of the pandemic," concludes Martine.

Read the full article here.


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