Regardless of gender, flexible working prevents career progression – true or false?

Two-thirds of employees believe working flexibly would prevent them from climbing the career ladder, new research has found. Despite this, 83% of more than 5,400 UK professionals felt flexible working was an important benefit. A further three out of five said it had improved female representation in senior roles.

The survey concluded that it was concerning that, although these initiatives are viewed as important options to both men and women and are directly associated with bridging the gender divide, employees are worried about the negative impact a leave of absence and more flexible working pattern may have on their career.

The study revealed that women were more likely to believe working flexibly would dampen their prospects, with three-quarters saying they were worried about the effect it would have on their career, compared with 65% of men.
Three-quarters of men believed there were equal career opportunities for both genders, compared with only 54% of women.

Meanwhile nearly two-thirds of permanent, full-time UK employees now enjoy some degree of flexible working, including working from home, working reduced hours and working flexible hours.

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