4-5 June 2024

Manchester Central

Work/life balance takes priority over salary as great job migration begins

Work/life balance takes priority over salary as great job migration begins

27th September 2021

New research from Karren Brady’s Women in Business & Tech Expo finds nearly 60% of working women believe work/life balance is more important than salary in a role

London, UK. 17 September 2021 – Over half of working women in the UK (62%) are looking for better work/life balance in their careers, according to new research announced today by Karren Brady’s Women in Business & Tech Expo, the must attend event of the year for inspiration, recruitment, and progression. In fact, 59% of women surveyed stated that a good work/life balance was more important than salary.

The research, conducted in partnership with 3GEM, surveyed working women in the UK to understand the challenges they face in workplace and what they’re looking for from an ideal career. For 38% of working women, the pandemic has changed how they feel about their career, with 15% feeling more negative about their role. Given this it’s unsurprising that 37% have either started a new job or are planning on starting a new job/business as a direct result of the pandemic.

One of the biggest requirements women are looking for in any new role is flexible working hours, with 69% listing it as one of the top three things they look for. Of those surveyed, just 22% feel their current role doesn’t offer a good level of flexible working options. However, 34% have struggled to find a role with the level of flexibility they require, a figure that has decreased over the last 2 years (39% in 2019).

After work/life balance and flexible working hours, women listed remote working options (44%) and support for mental health and wellbeing (33%) as the next highest priority items from their workplace or role.

“After an extremely challenging 18 months for everyone, we’re currently undergoing what economists have dubbed the Great Resignation, as millions of people leave their current jobs for something new. For many women this decision to move roles has been triggered by a lack of flexibility and support by their employers,” commented Christie Day, Group Event Director at Hub Exhibitions. “If business leaders want to secure the best talent during this period of movement, they must learn from the pandemic so far and really listen to what women need. With Karren Brady’s Women in Business & Tech Expo we want to empower people to take action in reaching their professional goals, put them in front of progressive companies committed to DEI for recruitment opportunities, and provide a platform to make strategic connections for business growth.”

The pandemic has further highlighted the ongoing challenges women face juggling childcare and work responsibilities. Worryingly, 37% are frustrated that they have had to sacrifice salary and career progression to ensure work/life balance in bringing up a family, whilst 31% worry that by working from home more to manage childcare responsibilities they will miss out on promotion opportunities.

However, some challenges have reduced. The number of women who have female friends who have had to give up work due to childcare challenges has reduced by 10% since the pandemic began (38% in 2021 v 48% in 2019). There’s also been a decrease in the number of women who have had to give up work due to a lack of flexible working options (33% in 2021 v 41% in 2019).

When asked about how they feel about the growing use of technology in the workplace,

44% think new technologies in the workplace will help them achieve a better work/life balance, 36% think it will help improve their productivity and 25% believe it will provide more career opportunities. But the growing use of new technology in the workplace isn’t ideal for everyone, as 16% worry technology will make their current role redundant.

Karren Brady’s Women in Business & Tech Expo runs from 13-14 October 2021. As well as general tickets, VIP tickets are available which include a 30-minute coaching session with a Barefoot accredited coach, to help achieve attendees achieve their professional objectives. To buy your ticket for or for more information about Karren Brady’s Women in Business & Tech Expo, please visit www.wibexpo.co.uk or follow us on Twitter or Instagram @wibexpouk


About Karren Brady’s Women in Business & Tech Expo

Karren Brady’s Women in Business & Tech Expo is the UK’s only exhibition dedicated to supporting women in business. General admission and VIP tickets are available for attendees to access the two-day live virtual event and view content for 30 days on-demand afterwards. Running from 13-14 October 2021, attendees will have access to a roster of top speakers and leading companies across various industries, delivering insights and thought leadership around career and business topics.

Exhibitor enquiries

Julie West, Sales Manager

+44 (0)1483 934 400


Marketing enquiries

Catherine Acevedo, Group Marketing Manager

+44 (0)1483 934381


Media enquiries

Gemma Smith

Kaizo for Hub Exhibitions


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4-5 June 2024

Manchester Central


2-3 October 2024

ExCel London