Breaking down stereotypes: the power of hybrid work for professional equality

An evolving social situation between old clichés and small improvements.

Despite significant advances, current statistics relating to the French workplace still speak of a day-to-day working life that is far from guaranteeing men and women the same chances of fulfillment and opportunities for professional advancement.

Some things are indeed struggling to change:

  • Stereotypes about motherhood and managing family life
  • The psychological weight that society places on women's shoulders by default
  • Inequalities arising from the first two factors

 

If we look at the figures for France, we see that the pay gap between men and women, in the case of executives for example, is at least 4%, taking into account the same working hours and the same position. What's more, if we assume that women have greater difficulty in gaining access to positions of high responsibility, the pay gap can reach an average of 14.9% (source: Insee, 2022).

This difficulty in accessing positions of responsibility could be explained by the fact that the average age at which workers rise in rank and skills generally corresponds to the time when women are busy organizing and managing children.

 

As a result, we might be tempted to think that these inequalities might also depend on each country's parental leave policy. A closer look at the European level, however, quickly reveals that this is not the case, as the figures do not follow each other, and sometimes even diverge from country to country. By way of example, Sweden, which claims to be the European champion in terms of the number of days of parental leave granted (16 months that can be divided between father and mother), still achieves an average pay gap of 11.1% (source: Eurostat and ONS, 2018). Italy, on the other hand, enjoys a maximum of 10 months' parental leave (9 of which are paid at a maximum of 30% of salary), with an average pay gap of 8.7% (source: OECD, 2021).

With regard to
family mores in France, a DREES study published in March 2024 describes a situation that remains as unfavorable as ever for women, 42% of whom take on family responsibilities to the total or partial detriment of their careers.

What's everyday life like for women in France in a field where men are in the majority?

The data for male-dominated professional fields are quite similar, but the following figures concern the tech sector, since that's where we work. The conclusion is clear:

  • Careers evolve at a slower pace
  • Salaries can be lower
  • There is less trust (in 2022, fundraising by women-led tech companies accounted for 1% of global fundraising (source: Urban Linker 2022).
  • Management positions are rarely held by women
  • Only 11% of girls are trained in IT professions (source: Urban Linker 2022)

So all is lost?

Despite all these negative points, the current trend suggests that change, albeit slow, is well underway. Indeed, the democratization of hybrid work and discussions around menstrual leave and paternity leave show that the world of work is trying to adapt to social reality. This is because society, especially since Covid, wants to evolve by asserting its right and its desire to make the most of both work and private life.

What are the advantages of hybrid work for women?

Hybrid working offers a number of potential advantages:

  • It can provide greater flexibility in reconciling professional and personal life
  • It can reduce travel-related stress
  • It can foster inclusion and diversity
  • It can boost productivity

But above all, paradoxically, hybrid working, which puts us all on the same level when it comes to proving our efficiency by working from home, can help prove unequivocally that a work/life balance is within everyone's reach, without compromising productivity. Man or woman, mother or father, we can reconcile our family life and our career while remaining "profitable" for the company.

And while in the past it seemed that women were the only ones to be thinking about productivity in the face of the work/life mix, now it's everyone's business.

Now, if figures can prove that a man remains productive by working from home while being both a father and an employee, the same calculation should normally apply to a woman too. Figures could then prove that, in this society, there is no longer any reason for women to be sidelined "for family reasons".

 

How can an employer help its business and its dependents by adopting a flexible work management platform? What role does it play in the quest for equal opportunities?

In this context, it makes sense to adopt a hybrid work management platform, which offers a number of advantages for companies, not least for human reasons, as well as being eco-sustainable and cost-effective.

Among other things, this would make it possible to :

  • Allow employees to plan work flexibly
  • Facilitating remote collaboration
  • Monitor employee time and performance transparently

A company that implements a hybrid, managed organization sends out a clear signal about its commitment to improving equal opportunities for men and women, creating a climate of trust and respect and providing tools to help employees better organize their professional and private lives. 

A solution like Jooxter is a good example of a tool that can be used to set up or manage hybrid work.

 

Will using a hybrid work management platform make us forget about inequalities at work?

We'd love to tell you otherwise, but we're not there yet.

What is certain, however, is that awareness of the human, as well as economic and ecological, potential of this type of tool is an essential step on the road to equal opportunity.

We're convinced that parity is possible, and that everyone can and must do their bit to ensure that harmonious, respectful workplaces contribute to everyone's fulfillment.

Conclusion

Starting from the assumption that women's place in the family may often have been a pretext for preventing their development and success, in a social context where men are increasingly asserting and assuming their right to be present with their children, companies can decide to take action.

Adopting a hybrid work management tool could indeed make a difference, improving families' day-to-day lives and providing a reliable means of assessing equal performance. By creating confidence, it would also help women to embark on careers in historically male-dominated fields, guaranteeing balance for companies.

To create our ideal professional world of tomorrow, let's start by making the right choices today.