SheSays: flexible work key priority for the under-represented

SheSays has launched the Flexible Works campaign ahead of Internaional Women's Day

SheSays, the non-profit organisation championing gender equality in the creative industries, has discovered that only 1% of people believe fair pay and pay rises are better for under-represented people at present. Contrastingly, 54% of people believe the one thing currently better about work for under-represented people is being able to work more flexibly. 

The results are from SheSays ‘Defining the Future of Work’ research, a yearlong study being conducted throughout 2024 to unearth what is and isn’t working in the workplace for under-represented people, and to strategise paths forward. The findings will be used to advise leaders on building a more inclusive workplace. 

When asked how to build a work future, with improved outcomes for under-represented people, the research found that 30% want more diverse representation in leadership and across roles, and 20% want continued flexibility around working location and hours. Many believe agency and business culture reform is needed to meet the workforce’s current and future needs, as work parameters were set decades ago and are no longer fit for purpose. 

Amy Dick, UK President of SheSays, said: ‘We aren’t making assumptions about the workplace but rather taking the time to understand what is and isn’t working for under-represented people across media, marketing, and advertising industries. Having flexibility has been identified as the highest thing making work better for people, empowering them to be their best, and therefore bring their best.’

In the lead up to International Women’s Day, SheSays has launched the Flexible Works campaign to celebrate the physical and emotional wins from flexible working. 

The online campaign asks their community to share their own wins on social media to encourage workplaces to continue offering flexible working and recognise its business advantages. 

The ‘flexible work wins’ showcased in the campaign range from the need for low sensory spaces, low-stress commute times, pets, family time, and time for wellness and fitness, all for a better work-life balance. 

Dick added, ‘SheSays encourages leaders everywhere to get ahead of the future by creating flexible work environments, policies, and workloads, not forcing rigid structures and mandating. We also ask those who are responsible for recruitment, allocating roles in leadership and throughout business, to look around you and check whether you see society reflected in your offices. Is there diversity in real life or just on paper? We know that flexibility and diversity are two priorities for the workforce, and therefore they should also be for leaders.’

Featured image: Flexible Works Campaign / SheSays