Will the Shift to Remote Work Hurt or Help Gender Equity?

Katica Roy
5 min readJun 8, 2020

Welcome to my weekly Q&A roundup. (Scroll down to find the Q&A.)

If this is your first time here, welcome. I spend a fair amount of time speaking at events and conferences. At the end of my presentations, I leave space for audience members to ask questions — tough questions, brave questions, you name it. The level of candor and curiosity always inspires me, and I want to share that sentiment with you. So each week, I pick one question that I believe others would find most instructive and publish my response to it here.

The purpose of this weekly tradition is transparency and inclusivity.

  • Transparency: a behind-the-scenes look at my day-to-day.
  • Inclusivity: bringing others along in the journey.

Be Brave™

How Does Remote Work Impact Progress toward Gender Equity?

Remote-first. Remote everything. Digital-by-default. Work-from-anywhere. Operate with no footprint.

The unambiguous adoption of permanent work-from-home policies has been trending in the world of work recently (exhibit A, B, C, D, and E), and I’m watching it.

Even if your organization isn’t striving to match Facebook’s ambitious plan “to be the most forward-leaning company on remote work at [their] scale,” there’s a good chance your org is moving toward remote.

A survey published in late May found that 71% of venture capital-backed founders will let some or all of their employees continue to work remotely when restrictions are lifted. Another survey found that 59% of employees would prefer to work remotely “as much as possible” once restrictions on businesses and school closures are lifted.

Me? I love working from home because I’m able to take end-of-day walks with my daughter, and I am more productive. (My team loves working from home too, and we’ve decided to switch to working remotely after social distancing measures are relaxed.)

However, we can’t let the upside of remote work blind us to its potential downside. Let’s apply the gender lens to remote work to understand how it fits into our journey toward equity for all.

Katica Roy

CEO of Pipeline Equity | Gender Economist | Award-Winning Leader | On a mission to achieve gender equity, once and for all. www.pipelineequity.com