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Flexible Working for Males in today’s society: Embraced or Mocked!

Flexible Working for Males in today’s society: Embraced or Mocked!

In today’s society, both male and female employees want to juggle their caring responsibilities to maintain work life balance and overall wellbeing. Long held gender stereotypes that are gradually changing, are making it difficult for males to access flexible working.

Despite many organisations promoting flexible work practices, there is a comparatively low take up of flexible work options by males. Recent reports also depict that flexibility does not appear to be as readily available for men as women for example:

  • Men are twice as likely to have requests for flexible hours knocked back as women (ABC News Report, 2016), and
  • Women who have access to flexible working are more inclined to move into senior positions, whereas men who opt for flexibility are less likely to receive the same treatment (News.com., 2016).

These studies represent a growing concern for males in Australian organisations who may be susceptible to stereotyping and discrimination and alert organisations to re-think their actions when approached by their male employees for flexible work arrangements.

So how can an organisation increase the uptake of flexible work practices by males:

  • Create a culture where it is safe for both males and females to access flexible work practices,
  • Educate senior leaders on the benefits of flexible working for both males and females – such as higher levels of employee wellbeing, engagement and productivity,
  • Address stereotypes that caring responsibilities are a female’s domain,
  • Educate that taking time out for caring responsibilities does not mean an individual (whether they be male or female) is not career focused and
  • Share stories about individuals whom have taken up flexible work practices to encourage others to also partake in such practices.

For further information on encouraging flexible work practices, please contact the team at Nurture HR Consulting www.nurturehrconsulting.com.au

ABC News. (2016). Men twice as likely to have flexible work hours’ requests knocked back:
study. Retrieved from

News.com.au. (2016). Why the flexible work dream is out of reach. Retrieved from

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