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What’s Hiding In Hybrid Work?

In 2022, The Female Lead's ground-breaking research team explored hybrid working to understand its impact on gender and intersectionality. 

The pandemic has accelerated the global adoption of remote working for office-based workers, transforming the availability of flexible working and changing day-to-day work for many people. But what is the impact of this on those commuting and working on the front line, face to face with the public?


These questions have not yet been answered, nor the impacts understood. This is one for the future. Hybrid working is still a relatively new concept, but economists and employment experts have already sounded the alarm about some of the potential inhibitors to career progression that hybrid working might bring to the surface. So, we wanted to explore the lived experience of hybrid work and uncover what performs efficiently and inclusively for individuals, organisations and society as a whole.

Our Research

The Female Lead collaborated with King’s College London and is now working alongside the Global Institute for Women’s Leadership (GIWL) to make these findings available to all.

Dr Madeleine Wyatt led the research. She interviewed 80 hybrid workers

(40 men and 40 women) from an international and diverse cross-section of employees, across different sectors, to uncover underlying themes and gender differences of hybrid working. 

Through this research we wanted to:

  • Uncover elements of hybrid working that have the potential to limit the career progression of women and other under-represented groups

  • Harness the best aspects of remote work and in-office work

  • Create a hybrid model that optimises working practices

  • Develop a new toolkit to assist companies in developing a sustainable and inclusive Hybrid workplace for all

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We found that

  • Overall hybrid working is seen as a positive driver of equality, sustainability and work/life balance.

  • There is a distinct gender divide which hinders women in hybrid working. 

  • A point of best practice has not yet been reached to identify and remedy these risks. 

  • These findings emphasise what The Female Lead uncovered in its 2021 research study Breaking Free of The ‘Unentitled Mindset’. Women experience an ‘entitlement gap’ at work, suffering a career penalty for having flexibility around their work schedules to accommodate additional responsibilities. With Hybrid Work the ‘entitlement gap’ now takes on a new form. 

  • Women focus on diligence and are removed from office politics, women become isolated and trapped in a never-ending list of tasks & women lose some of the joy and fulfilment of work.

  • These risks are hidden by the positive elements of hybrid work that are

    mainly focused on in society.

Our mission

Our mission at The Female Lead is to reveal What’s Hiding In Hybrid Work and to offer practical solutions and tools.

  • We want to spotlight the risks of hybrid working, and drive change towards equality, inclusivity and fulfilment in the workplace.

  • We want to explore what fulfilment means to women and to show how vital it is to understand this so employers can understand key motivations and drivers of employee engagement.

  • To this end, The Female Lead is collecting rich and valuable insight into women’s fulfilment expectations. Please visit our Fulfilment Finder survey to find out more.


Our mission at The Female Lead is to ask What’s #HidingInHybridWork in order amplify the risks of hybrid working, and drive a change towards equality, inclusivity and fulfilment in the workplace. We invite everyone to make it their mission too. Find out what you can do to help raise awareness here:

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