Women working at home risk being trapped in an ‘assignment’

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Women who work predominantly from home risk their careers and be caught in an “assignment” as more men return to the office to work after the pandemic, a Bank decision-maker warned. England.

Catherine Mann, a member of the bank’s monetary policy committee, said virtual working methods, such as video conferencing, were unable to replicate spontaneous conversations in the office that are important for career advancement.

“Virtual platforms are a lot better than they were five years ago,” said Mann, speaking at an event for women in finance hosted by the Financial News newspaper. “But improvisation, spontaneity – these are difficult to reproduce in a virtual setting. “

Women do not return to work to the same extent as men, and when working they are more likely to work from home. Problems include difficulty accessing child care and disruptions to schooling due to the pandemic have led more and more women to continue to work remotely.

“There is the potential for two tracks,” she said. “There are people who are on the virtual track and people who are on the physical track. And I’m afraid we’ll see both of those tracks develop, and we’ll pretty much know who’s going to be on which track, unfortunately.

Vincent Keaveny, the mayor of London, said an increasing number of the city’s employees were returning to the UK financial center office.

“The city is coming back to life,” he told BBC Radio 4’s Today program. “It’s a really important thing for young people in the sector to get the training they need, creativity, the collegiality that the office brings.

Keaveny, partner at law firm DLA Piper, said companies should be allowed to set their own policies on staff return to work and that there is no single post-pandemic model.

“I think every business comes from different places,” he said. “I don’t think we should be telling people, telling businesses, we shouldn’t micromanage businesses on an approach to this issue. But there is a very strong message that the City is open. We would like to see more people come back.


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The proportion of employees going to work has gradually increased since the loosening of national restrictions in March, reaching over 50% in August, when a new rule change meant those who had been doubly vaccinated did not have to. isolate oneself, according to the Office for National Statistics.

Previous research from the ONS found that women were more likely to work from home than men because it gave them more time to work with fewer distractions.

In August, Chancellor Rishi Sunak warned young workers that they could put their careers at risk if they worked from home.

Mann was professor of economics and chief economist at Citigroup and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development before joining the Bank of England’s MPC in September. She is one of only two women on the nine-member committee.

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