Flexible women come out on top down under

Rock artWomen with a high level of job flexibility waste less time, are more productive and have more clarity over their career direction, according to a report by Ernst & Young Australia.

It said women aged between 20 and 34 who consider they have high flexibility in their job report that 13% of their time is unproductive. This rises to 19% for those with a low degree of flexibility.

When it comes to having a clear career direction 64% of those with flexibility said they had a good idea where they were headed, compared with only 10% of their less flexible peers.

Women in flexible roles waste only 11.1% of the day, compared to an average of 14.5% for the rest of the working population. Given 43.2% of women in the workforce work part-time, compared to 13.5% of men, this translates into an important productivity bonus that few employers recognise, said the report.

Ernst & Young said this challenges common assumptions about women working flexibly, who often find themselves excluded from communications and are seen as not pulling their weight in the organisation. It said organisations should introduce or expand flexible working arrangements to attract and retain highly productive women.

“There is a risk that women in flexible roles are side-lined from career-making roles, opportunities and promotion rather than being rewarded for their increased productivity. Shouldn’t they, at the very least, be put on an even footing with their less productive full-time colleagues?”

Image credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/lozula/

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