Hybrid working could ‘leave women behind’, warns Bank of England policy maker

Women working mainly from home could be left behind now that people are returning to the office, a member of the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee has warned.

At an event for women in finance hosted by Financial News, Catherine Mann said that women are not going back to work to the same extent as men which is “very much related to the caregiver aspect,” adding that childcare and home duties are “disproportionately fall[ing] on the shoulders of women.”

The policy maker, who joined the bank’s committee in September, added that online communication cannot replicate spontaneous “proverbial water cooler conversations.”

"There is the potential for two tracks,” she told attendees, as reported by Reuters. “There's the people who are on the virtual track and people who are on a physical track.

“And I do worry that we will see those two tracks develop, and we will pretty much know who's going to be on which track, unfortunately.”

Last month Baroness Minouche Shafik, head of the London School of Economics, said that working from home could exacerbate the gender pay gap.

“Homeworking does provide opportunities, but I’m a little worried that if women end up doing all the flexible working and men all go to the office that that will cut them off from networks and opportunities that will result in an even exacerbated gender gap,” she said, as reported by The Telegraph.

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