Embracing inclusivity in regular jobs and freelancing - Hindustan Times
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Embracing inclusivity in regular jobs and freelancing

ByHindustan Times
Oct 12, 2023 10:43 AM IST

This article is authored by Shilpa Jain, CEO & founder, BeGig.

The idea of the hybrid method of working has cemented itself as the new standard in the constantly changing workplace landscape of the future, characterised by rapid developments in technology and shifting workplace standards. Organisations are enthusiastically adopting this hybrid model as they become more aware of the benefits that come with combining in-office and remote work. However, when this hybrid work environment establishes itself, it has the profound potential to transform gender dynamics in the workplace. Hence, business executives must not only acknowledge, but also embrace, the fact that the hybrid model can have a big impact on gender equality in the workplace.

Gender Equality.(Getty Images/iStockphoto) PREMIUM
Gender Equality.(Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Organisations must be proactive in creating processes that actively promote equal contributions across all roles and levels in order to effectively cope with this shift. Thus, it is crucial to strike the right balance between work flexibility, especially for women doing remote work, and addressing the unique issues they might encounter. To ensure that employee experiences and career advancement are unaffected by bias, this calls for financial investment in managerial training, unwavering support for remote workers, and smart use of technological resources like AI and analytics.

Furthermore, one of the most intriguing parts of this shift is the emergence of co-working spaces in tier 2 and tier 3 cities. These locations bridge geographic boundaries, providing women in impoverished regions with a renewed sense of inclusion and the opportunity to actively engage in the workforce. Additionally, the hybrid work paradigm contradicts conventional gender roles and beliefs, giving women opportunities in industries formerly controlled by men.

Co-working spaces can be established in tier-2 and tier-3 cities, which is one of the hybrid work model's most encouraging characteristics. In earlier times, some sectors have seen more apparent disparities between genders in employment prospects. To combat this, companies can give women in these areas the opportunity to join the workforce without moving to larger cities by offering accessible co-working facilities. Women are empowered to actively participate in their local economies as a result of this sense of belonging. These locations act as networking hubs as well as workspaces, allowing women to interact, exchange experiences, and provide one another support in the workplace. Thus, as women find mentorship and a support network to help them through the problems of their lives, this sense of community can be a powerful driving force for gender equality.

Recognising how the hybrid model disrupts conventional gender roles is crucial to comprehend how the future of work will affect gender equality. It provides flexibility that makes it possible for both men and women to more successfully juggle their home and work lives. This shift away from defined schedules and locations may help remove stereotypes that have restricted women for years. Additionally, remote employment can remove geographic constraints, allowing women access to a job in formerly male-dominated industries. This can result in more women working in traditionally male-dominated fields like Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM), hence lowering gender imbalances in these fields. However, it's essential to acknowledge that despite these positive strides, the gender wage gap persists, with a woman making 46 cents less than a man for every dollar produced, and given the rate of change, it will take 202 years to close this disparity, according to the World Economic Forum. This number emphasises the significance of continued initiatives to guarantee genuine gender equality in the workplace of the future.

The development of freelancing is one aspect of the future of work that differentiates it from traditional ways of working. Women looking to manage work and family duties will find this trend to be especially helpful. Women who freelance are empowered to take charge of their professions and personal lives by having the freedom to pick their tasks and set their own schedules. Additionally, platforms for freelancing frequently place a higher value on talent and merit than on gender, providing women the same opportunity to show off their skills. As a result, women can now access a wider range of projects and clients, regardless of where they live or restrictions imposed by conventional workplace norms, which can fundamentally reshape the landscape of gender equality.

A major improvement in gender equality can result from the hybrid future of work. We can build a more diverse and inclusive workforce by creating co-working spaces in smaller locations, changing conventional gender roles, encouraging freelancing, and providing flexibility in full-time professions. Our approach to the workplace must change as society does. Thus, accepting the hybrid model can be a crucial first step in getting rid of the roadblocks that have for too long prevented gender equality. It is a society in which talent is regarded as being more important than everything else, where women have equal access to opportunities, and working without losing one's personal life is possible. Therefore, by adopting this, we can all work together to build a workplace that is more inclusive and gender equitable.

This article is authored by Shilpa Jain, CEO & founder, BeGig.

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