Talent War - What women want 2023

Ashley Regan
By Ashley Regan | 19 January 2023
CoWomen via Unsplash

Women in leadership positions and paid leave entitlements are the most important employee offerings - overtaking flexible working - in 2023, according to the annual What Women Want Report by WORK180

The global report surveyed 615 people around the world to reveal what women and marginalised groups want and need to thrive in the workplace.

While the majority of respondents identified as women, the survey was open to anyone. 

Compared to the 2021 survey, employment demographics alone saw a clear shift in the wants and needs of women in the workplace. For example, less than half stayed with the same employer, as women are feeling frustrated and stunted in their careers.

Overall women in Australia want:

  1. Paid leave entitlements
  2. Flexible and remote working options
  3. An inclusive culture
  4. Women in leadership positions
  5. Career development opportunities

While flexible working remains important to women, it’s no longer the most in-demand benefit. Respondents say the priority is now women in leadership positions and paid leave entitlements. 

However, the most in-demand variation of flexibility continues to be around working hours. Responses highlighted a concerning trend of employers making false promises of flexibility and accusations of deception.

Broken down by age group, women in the workplace want:

  • 18-25: Paid leave entitlements and an inclusive culture take joint first place
  • 26-35: Career development opportunities
  • 36-45: Paid leave entitlements and flexible and remote working options take joint first place
  • 46-55: Flexible and remote working options
  • 56+: Paid leave entitlements and an inclusive culture take joint first place

Regardless of age, paid leave entitlements are important for all respondents.

Both parents and non-parents confirmed that their career has suffered due to antiquated presumptions that women will and/or should sacrifice their careers to be a primary parent.

Respondents are calling out for parental leave, flexible working, and career development policies to help them progress despite this barrier.

But what really stood out was the demand for employers to introduce policies and actions that actively break down this barrier.

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