Welcome to the Summer Term’s first ‘The week that was…’ Highlights from the last couple of weeks include: survey finds flexible working can boost professional progress, scheme for professionals restarting their careers after a long break are beneficial for organisations and the need to call out on bullying and harassment at work.
A recent survey from IBM Smarter Workforce Institute has found evidence that flexible working can boost professional progress, in addition to improving job satisfaction and employee retention. In particular, three flexible work arrangements are linked to increased promotions: working compressed hours, job sharing and working from home for at least part of the week. A possible explanation for this may be that employers offering flexible working are able to retain talented employees. Alternatively, highly valued employees may have more bargaining power to request flexible working. Whatever the case, the IBM findings say that flexible working arrangements are clearly a priority for career fast-trackers and can be beneficial to all parties.
Credit Suisse has started a new initiative this month called the Real Returns Programme for professionals who are re-starting their careers after a long break, typically taken for childcare reasons. The practice was started by Goldman Sachs in New York and has since been adopted by other companies in the US too, including Morgan Stanley and Met Life. Participants in the scheme can rebuild their professional confidence and skills in a supportive peer environment, receiving training, mentoring and access to corporate networks. Kirsty How of Credit Suisse believes that this scheme gives access to “a huge talent pool of impressive women that is untapped and has so much to offer.”
Kathryn Nawrockyi, Director of Opportunity Now, writes that everyday sexism in the workplace is grimly familiar: women being discouraged from applying for roles, managers making sexually explicit remarks about female colleagues and so on. The recently released findings of the Project 28-40 survey revealed that a staggering 52% of women have experienced some form of bullying or harassment at work in the past 3 years. Further, disabled women, black and minority ethnic women and lesbian, gay and bisexual women are more vulnerable to harassment in the workplace. Kathryn writes: “We need people – women and men, managers and leaders – to start by calling out the bad behaviour. So the next time you witness someone abusing their power – whether on the street or at work – will you find your voice?”
If you have something to add, please write to us at Equality.and.Diversity@lse.ac.uk.