The rise of flexible working arrangements has unintentionally spurred greater diversity in the workplace while simultaneously easing financial strains for younger generations, particularly Gen Z.

A recent report by Wiley Edge, a prominent talent development and reskilling partner for global organisations, underscores the transformative impact of flexible work practices on the composition of tech teams and job applicant demographics.

According to the “Diversity in Tech Report” by Wiley Edge, businesses worldwide have witnessed a notable surge in the number of candidates from ethnically diverse (43%), neuro-diverse (22%), and socio-economically diverse (18%) backgrounds, all attributed to the adoption of flexible working practices.

These findings indicate a significant expansion of the talent pool available to burgeoning tech teams, previously hindered by more rigid working structures.

What about gender inequality within tech?

The report also sheds light on how flexible practices have ameliorated gender imbalances within tech teams. Historically, the tech sector has grappled with a dearth of female representation. However, with the integration of remote work options, 63 percent of businesses reported a more balanced gender distribution among qualified candidates.

Khadijah Pandor, Head of Partnerships, EMEA & NA at Wiley Edge, emphasised the pivotal role of flexible work policies in fostering diversity and inclusivity within organisations. She noted, “Flexible working policies provide different benefits to different people. For example, a neurodivergent person can plan focused work during days when they are likely to have fewer distractions. A candidate from a poor socio-economic background can save money on less frequent commutes to the office. Women, who typically have greater caring responsibilities, can plan their work tasks around their caring commitments.”

Financial relief for Gen Z

Moreover, the report highlights the financial relief afforded to Gen Z employees through flexible working arrangements. With reduced commuting costs and increased geographic flexibility, 95 percent of Gen Z tech workers in remote roles reported tangible financial, geographical, or social benefits.

The study underscores a broader cultural shift towards embracing hybrid work models, with 84 percent of employees expressing a preference for a mixed working culture offering both remote and office-based options. Significantly, a substantial portion (37%) indicated a willingness to switch jobs if flexibility were to be curtailed, underscoring the importance of flexible arrangements in attracting and retaining top talent.

Ultimately, the report underscores the imperative for businesses to cultivate diverse and inclusive workplaces, not merely as a matter of social responsibility but also as a driver of financial success.

Citing research by McKinsey, which found that teams with greater racial, ethnic, and gender diversity outperform their counterparts financially, the report emphasises the tangible benefits of fostering diverse talent pools within tech teams.





Amelia Brand is the Editor for HRreview, and host of the HR in Review podcast series. With a Master’s degree in Legal and Political Theory, her particular interests within HR include employment law, DE&I, and wellbeing within the workplace. Prior to working with HRreview, Amelia was Sub-Editor of a magazine, and Editor of the Environmental Justice Project at University College London, writing and overseeing articles into UCL’s weekly newsletter. Her previous academic work has focused on philosophy, politics and law, with a special focus on how artificial intelligence will feature in the future.