In Lahore on March 8th, 2023, employers all over the world are celebrating International Women’s Day today, and ACCA is highlighting the value of flexible work arrangements and training for fostering diversity.

The ACCA is urging firms to keep up the momentum as remote and hybrid employment, education, and training are proving essential in broadening access to opportunity.

Following the conclusion of a significant piece of study that polled 8,000 finance professionals worldwide, ACCA discovered that the majority of people desire hybrid working because they believe it increases productivity, with additional benefits highlighted by women.

According to the ACCA’s 2023 Global Talent Trends report, while men and women valued hybrid working almost equally (88% and 86%, respectively), women were more appreciative of the advantages of remote working, with 73% of women saying they were more productive when they worked from home compared to 66% of male respondents.

The study’s findings indicate that hybrid working improves overall mental health and retention, with hybrid workers being less likely to leave their organizations. Employers are still considering how this can affect teamwork and collaboration, though.

Women reported being better able to manage the effects of remote working on cooperation and engagement, with a lower percentage (43% compared to 52% of male respondents) saying that they found collaboration challenging or felt more disengaged.

“Flexible approaches to working are delivering considerable benefits to everybody, but can be particularly useful to individuals where geographical, financial, or extra commitments create limits that can have an influence on working location or hours,” said Helen Brand OBE, chief executive of ACCA. 

“The cultural changes brought about by the pandemic, along with evolving technology, mean remote work and study is now an option for a greater diversity of people. As employers consider the culture of their organizations, it’s important this inclusivity benefit is kept front of mind.”

Although not all jobs and studies may be done remotely, such as those in the construction and healthcare industries, expanding accessibility and flexibility where it is possible helps broaden the pool of potential candidates. Future recalls, remote learning, and tests all contribute to giving many more people the chance to pursue professional professions. ACCA is dedicated to improving inclusion for its members.

Helen Brand added: “E-learning has brought extra flexibility to study, giving people who live in remoter areas, or with challenging commitments outside of study, the scope to build education into their lives. It opens up the promise of a profession to many who might have been excluded until now.”  

Download the full ACCA Talent Trends report here.

Find out more about ACCA’s International Women’s Day activities here