How Remote Work Promotes Gender Equality: UN SDG No. 5



SDG Breakout Article: Goal 5 -- Gender Equality

At FlexJobs we see how flexible work impacts women in every facet of their lives. From being able to better manage life and family to increased career longevity, flexwork has a myriad of benefits for women.

In particular, remote work can be a unique solution to the United Nation’s Development Program, which seeks to “end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity by 2030.”

The UN has set 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to act as a blueprint for its mission. We covered how flexwork can play a part in some of these SDGs. Here’s how work flexibility can help with goal number five.

Goal 5. Achieve Gender Equality and Empower All Women and Girls

How Remote Work Promotes Gender Equality: UN SDG No. 5 1

Remote work and flexible schedules aid in achieving gender equality, the overall mission of goal five. Women who are able to flex their schedule and work when it is most convenient for them can often maintain a professional job and perform at a high level.

And companies benefit from offering flexwork as well. Gender-diverse companies outperform other companies financially by 15%. Companies that offer work flex to both women and men, improve pay disparities, offer child-care options, and offer better parental leave policies all contribute to closing the gender gap. Flexibility reduces the forced choice between work and family, more easily allowing women to succeed in the workplace.

Target 5.4: Recognize and value unpaid care and domestic work through the provision of public services, infrastructure, and social protection policies and the promotion of shared responsibility within the household and the family as nationally appropriate.

Remote work can help families balance household responsibilities more equally.

The average worker commutes 52 minutes per day. Remote workers who eliminate a commute can use this extra time in the day for personal tasks. Men who work remotely can use this time to share in household responsibilities that more often fall to women.

FlexJobs reports that half of women who earn an MBA will drop out of the workforce within a decade because of family reasons. Both women and men need more time in their schedules to accommodate home life. Having a flexible schedule or working from a home office allows both genders to pitch in and participate in family life.

FlexJobs readers who were asked how flexible work can help them “find their better,” reported often on the benefits of being a parent and working remotely:

“Better for me as a woman is being able to have a career I love while being able to help my children with homework. Better is… being able to work from anywhere earning a living while still having the flexibility to pick up a sick child from school. … Balancing a career and my family seems like a win-win.” —Vindra Gayapersad

“Better is being able to revitalize my career as I step back into the workplace full-time after being a part-time, stay-at-home mom for over 15 years. Being able to find a job with good benefits, a flexible schedule, and one that will allow me to do what I do best—help others. All this as I get ready to transition to being a single parent of three beautiful and extraordinary kids.” —Greer Gaston-Anderson

“Better is being grateful for the chance to stay at home with my 10-month-old daughter and not feeling insecure that I’m not ‘providing’ for my family financially. Better is acknowledging I’m providing for my family in a different way and it’s just as important.” —Lauren S.

Target 5.b: Enhance the use of enabling technology, in particular information and communications technology, to promote the empowerment of women.

The ability to work from anywhere with the use of technology allows women to integrate work and life, and manage them holistically. Rather than having to push one aside for the other, women are empowered to succeed at both.

Tellingly, Sara Sutton, founder and CEO of FlexJobs, found that companies with mostly or entirely remote workforces had significantly more women in leadership roles compared to S&P 500 companies. Twenty-eight percent of mostly or completely remote companies have either women CEOs, founders, or presidents and 19% have women CEOs, compared to the 5.2% of women CEOs at S&P 500 companies.

Remote companies don’t adhere to traditional notions of what leadership “looks like.” Remote jobs focus less on time-in-seat and appearances in the office, and more on productivity. Through the use of technology, women can let their accomplishments shine in a remote job and advance in their careers if they so choose.

Learn More About Remote Work’s Impact on the Sustainable Development Goals

FlexJobs has a full break down on how remote work can assist with many of the Sustainable Development Goals. Check it out for more details.

READ THE FULL REPORT ON SGD GOALS & REMOTE WORK >>>

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