Why Flex For All Could Vanquish the Gender Pay Gap

For National Flex Day And every day!

hosted by 1 Million For Work Flexibility, the first national initiative to bring people together and create a collective voice in support of work flexibility. 

Wait, what holiday? Okay, we hear you. There are a LOT of holidays that we learn about from Facebook, like:

  • International Women’s Day
  • Women’s Equality Day
  • International Day of the Girl

Now, these are some reasons to celebrate. So why don’t we?

Put a pin in that…

Your step-by-step to getting the green light:

On National Flex Day, my goal is to help you fight for flex and get it.

So why don’t we have transparent flexible work practices for all?

— especially if the US economy could save $15 billion annually if every firm adopted work flexibility? — and the gender pay gap could vanish, according to Harvard economist Claudia Goldin?

Truth? Michelle spoke it, 

The measure of any society is how it treats its women and girls.

Across the world, women don’t receive equal education or career opportunities, they don’t have bodily autonomy, and they face violence throughout their lives. And women of color, poor women, and LGBTQ persons experience it more.


Me, too.

E-V-E-R-Y-W-H-E-R-E. I posted it and you did too, if you’re a woman.



Back to that pin…

The same reason we don’t know about holidays celebrating women is also a big reason why flexible work isn’t widespread — the patriarchy in the US is strong and our workplaces reflect it. When I began Work Muse, my main purpose was to spread job sharing so others could experience the work-life balance I had, but I now see with clarity that flexible work — and specifically job sharing — can directly affect change for gender equality in the workplace.  Werk pieced together some great research on how flexible work changes the equation for women.*

Here’s why:

  • Women make up 57% of the college-educated, entry-level workforce with a greater range of occupations than ever – there’s not a pipeline problem.*
  • Only 6% of Fortune CEOs are women but nearly HALF of working women want to become CEOs or senior leaders – there’s not an ambition problem.* 
  • Where the U.S. once led the world in working women, we now lag behind due to dated policies from the 1990s (if not the 1950s) and little change in culture to reflect the modern workforce – there’s a structural problem.
  • As the primary caregivers, when women become mothers and/or care for aging parents, they are forced to make difficult career choices. This is an issue nearly every woman will face as up to 90% of caregivers to aging parents in the U.S. are women.
  • Without flexible work options, women drop out or fall back to non-leadership roles. And those who leave to freelance, forgo valuable benefits. 30% of talented women leave the workforce, but 70% would have stayed if they had access to flexibility.*
  • Flexibility is one of the top factors women care about during a job search.
  • Gender diversity leads to better outcomes and increased profit and revenue. Any degree of flexible working makes a big difference in the lives of women, but job sharing uniquely allows them to separate and prioritize work and life, working half the week with a supportive partner while progressing in their careers. They often keep their crucial benefits and have the flexibility they need to care for human beings, while their employers have the 24/7 coverage needed with increased productivity, engagement, and loyalty.


  • Job sharing (at work or in volunteer roles) increases women’s ability to participate on boards, in non-profit organizations, volunteering, at work, and in their children’s lives creating a better society for all of us.

Melissa Nicholson is the Founder & CEO of Work Muse, a job share solutions firm. Job sharing is a partnership between two people to share the responsibilities of one full-time position. Work Muse drives adoption of job sharing in business as a source of competitive advantage while helping individuals find work-life balance. Join the #JobshareRevolution here –– events, resources, and relevant content to empower you in work and life! For more info, hello@workmuse.com.

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