UK - Three-quarters of workers in the IT industry believe asking for flexible working arrangements could damage their career prospects, new research reveals.
The study – prepared for the department of trade and industry and the Women in IT Forum – shows the appeal of flexible working continues to grow.
Flexecutive – which carried out the research among 1000 employees – found that 93% of women and 81% of men wanted a more flexible working life.
But 74% are worried about suffering a drop in pay and being given less interesting jobs and projects if they request a change in arrangements.And more than half believe senior managers in the industry are poor work-life balance role models.
Trade and industry secretary Patricia Hewitt said: “Every time a well-trained woman leaves, a company wastes time and money on recruitment and training.
“Yet offering women with children greater choice over working hours could stop them leaving, save the company money and mean they can carry on enjoying a good career.”
She added: “I believe flexible working offers a ‘win-win’. I strongly urge senior IT employers to give greater commitment to the work-life balance agenda, from the top down, to reverse the downward trend in women working in IT.”
Government has targeted the IT sector as an area offering good prospects for female school-leavers.
But a 3% decline in the number of women working in IT has led to calls for an overhaul in the industry’s working practices to accommodate flexible arrangements.
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