IT managers set poor example on work-life issues

IT workers are demanding better work-life balance, but more than half of
those working in the sector do not believe senior managers are leading by

That was one of the main findings in a report that looked at flexible
working across the IT industry, which was prepared for the Department of Trade
and Industry and the Intellect Women in IT Forum by consultants Flexecutive,
and surveyed 1,000 IT professionals.

The findings revealed that while 93 per cent of women and 81 per cent of men
want more flexibility in their working practices, 55 per cent don’t think their
senior managers make good work-life balance role models.

Nearly three-quarters (74 per cent) fear that moving to a part-time or
flexible career will harm their promotional prospects. This could explain the 3
per cent decline in the number of women working in IT (Labour Force Survey

Commenting on the findings, trade and industry secretary Patricia Hewitt
said: "The number of women working in IT fell by 3 per cent last year and
the sector needs to urgently consider the reasons behind this fall.

"Every time a well-trained woman leaves, a company wastes time and
money on recruitment and training. Yet, offering a woman with children greater
choice over working hours could stop her leaving, save the company money and
mean she can carry on enjoying a good career.

"I believe flexible working offers a ‘win-win’ [situation]. 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," she added.

Other findings

– 50 per cent of respondents indicated that they don’t get
involved with their family as much as they would like

– A third do not believe their organisation is committed to
helping them achieve a reasonable work-life balance

– 84 per cent believe that full-time flexible working should be
available to all

– More than half (51 per cent) of full-time workers surveyed
already work flexible hours

– Those that do work part-time or flexibly believe that key
roles and projects are only given to full-time employees.

Source: Flexecutive

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