BUSINESS

Women to run the world (or at least the office)

Michelle Baltazar

While men have historically dominated the workforce in sheer number and seniority, a new study reveals women will rule the roost in the future.

According to a study that polled over 25,000 professionals worldwide in early 2012 (with 750 respondents from Australasia), there will be more women entering the workforce in the next decade and this could reshape or even dictate how offices are run.

The white paper titled ‘Meeting the Future of Work’ by John Blackwell, reported that in three years, 70% of graduates will be female, which could accelerate the pace at which businesses and governments address the gender inequality gap in the workplace.

“Women are increasingly going to challenge the male dominance of the workplace, and they will seek out organisations that support the female worker and enable them to fulfil their career aspirations,” said Blackwell.

The study found that for older staff, 72% of the worldwide workforce is male. For Generation Y workers, (those under the age of 35 years), the gender gap is smaller with only 52% being male.

“If organisations want to harness the talent of female workers, a number of steps need to be taken but perhaps the simplest and most effective one is to implement flexible working,” said Jacqueline Lehmann, Australia country head for Regus, the office provider which commissioned the study.

“A flexible work policy could mean offering shorter commute times with the options of being able to work from different locations … and flexibility with their hours,” she said.

To spearhead flexi-work and other initiatives tomorrow, more women are needed in senior level today. The study found that for both older and Gen Y workers, there are still more male managers (76%) than there are female managers (24%).

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