Is the New Normal Reinforcing Gender Stereotypes?

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Presented by

James Marsh, HRreview; Jennifer Liston-Smith, Bright Horizons; Sarah Newton, Baker & McKenzie LLP; Sarah Jackson, OBE

About this talk

The post-pandemic world promised a significant shift in roles and responsibilities of men and women when it came to family and work. Many men had taken a more active role in the home during lockdowns and Generation Z and Millennial fathers were already vocal in expecting more flexibility at work around family life. Gender Pay Gap reporting resumed, and many organisations returned to ambitious targets for gender representation at senior levels. However, as 2024 gets underway, families are still struggling under cost-of-living pressures and – amid a pull back toward central offices – many women opt to remain in hybrid or remote roles, to save on after-school and wraparound care. As a result, some feel less visible at work, and lacking in practical support to pursue progression. Is there instead a pending crisis for employers and their gender representation targets? Upcoming research, Bright Horizons Modern Families Index, will be published at the beginning of February (surveying over 3,000 working parents) highlighting fascinating statistics around this very topic, including insightful comparisons to last year’s figures! Join this lively conversation, as we discuss: • Latest research on male and female attitudes to work-life fit and the risk associated with these. • Insightful employer examples and what works for gender inclusion and career progression. • As we approach International Women’s Day (8th March) what can, and should, employers be doing to support parents and carers of all genders with the mental load?
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