New studies show that women are falling behind men in job satisfaction due to limited flexibility in their lives.
- Worker satisfaction is currently at a 36-year high of 62.3%, according to a new survey conducted by Conference Board.
- One notable statistic in the study is that women (60.1%) are less satisfied than their male colleagues (64%), although overall satisfaction has increased for both groups.
- A new report from Deloitte finds that flexibility is women’s top priority in the workplace—due to having to balance conflicting demands at work and home.
Why It’s Important
The COVID-19 pandemic greatly affected the workplace for hundreds of millions of Americans, shifting the majority of jobs online and remote. This has created a new status quo for corporate America, with large percentages of workers falling into the new “flexitariat,” which has the power and motivation to make greater demands on bosses and hiring managers.
Janee Hill is a motivational speaker and advocate for women in the workplace. She tells Leaders Media that flexibility is one of the highest priorities in the women she meets and works with, as the demands of parenthood, marriage, and work often require women to put in the effort of two full-time jobs.
“I see this a lot in women I work with. They want more flexible schedules—even the desire to control their schedule and, when they work, where they work. This is not necessarily bad if their performance can justify it. Still, I often see this with women who feel their employer should have some flexibility without backing that request with high performance,” says Hill.
Hill argues that women are often disadvantaged in the workplace, not being invited to all-male extracurricular functions that can provide greater opportunities for employees, such as golf courses. This exclusion leads many women to feel that they do not have a voice in their company culture or opportunities to improve their quality of life.
She argues women need three things to improve their workplace satisfaction: flexibility, the opportunity to have more control over their work, and feeling like they have a voice in the company culture.
The current job market is creating more opportunities for jobs that women can thrive in, as corporate structures realize that absolute control over a workplace is not necessary and that employees can be trusted with remote work options and flexibility. Employee satisfaction is increasing for that reason.
Plus, the overall workforce still starves for workers, so companies need to adjust to the varying needs of employees—whether by gender, generation, or geography. The flexibility of course needs to maintain the level of productivity required to complete the task.
Hill says that women need to be in a position so that they can succeed. At that point, they need to be able to approach their employers with the facts and proof of their good performance to advocate for greater opportunities. In comparison, employers need to create more opportunities for employees to feel like they have a voice and that their bosses care about what they have to say.