Hybrid working is now standard practice across many organizations, with technology and other sectors moving to a more flexible working environment spurred by the pandemic. Is it increasing diversity or creating a two-tier system?
"Hybrid working . . . has really opened up the pool of talent from which we can recruit," says Melissa Werry, head of technology at the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds. "Prior to the pandemic we . . . only recruited people within our geographical area. This has all changed and we have people working for us living miles away. We have got some new talent into the organization that just wouldn't have been feasible as an option previously."
A product manager for a cyber security specialist says the size of the organization has doubled over the last six months, with many roles filled by people from different ethnicities, women, and individuals who live rurally. But it's harder for technical people working further apart "to really feel like part of the team." Higher attrition is the result.
Catherine Mann, policy maker at Bank of England, is concerned that hybrid working will lead to a two-tier system that could result in a less diverse workforce, particularly towards the top end of organizations. Women could be left behind as male colleagues return to the office.
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