Will switching to WFH help firms recruit more women?
Yes, but hiring women into remote roles might improve diversity while worsening inequality.
If all you're after is hiring more women, then making jobs eligible for work-from-home is a good way to do it.
Companies that advertised remote jobs on a leading startup job board received a higher share of applications from women, compared to similar on-site listings, with no loss in candidate experience. Indeed, women value the opportunity to work from home more than men do, and would prefer to work from home more days per week on average.
If your goal is to improve gender equality, though, recruiting women to WFH roles might backfire.
First, remote work might be a professional dead end if it offers less visibility and fewer opportunities for mentorship and networking. Second, if working from home is seen as a perk, workers might accept lower pay in exchange. As a result, hiring women disproportionately into remote roles could keep them from climbing the career ladder and could widen the gender pay gap.