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How return-to-office mandates impact women in the workplace: Inclusion expert weighs in

Dr. Liz Wilson on return-to-office mandates

An increasing number of companies are mandating employees to return to the office, whether five days a week or a flexible hybrid schedule that combines work from home with time at the office. How do the return-to-office mandates impact women in the workforce? Furthermore, how can employers be more inclusive regarding women in the workplace? I asked inclusion expert Dr. Liz Wilson.

Disclosure: This sponsored interview hopes to encourage employers to create a more inclusive workplace culture for a healthier working environment.

Interview with Dr. Liz Wilson

Dr. Liz Wilson founded Include Inc., dedicating her career to providing a solution to discrimination. She applies her skills in business transformation, having worked with top brands for over two decades, and her behavioral science background to provide a more effective method for change. The overarching goal: To create a more inclusive world.

Her method, the 8-Inclusion Needs of all People, is receiving a lot of attention for looking at inclusion differently. It focuses on the entire person rather than a single label assigned by another person.

Thank you for being here today, Dr. Liz Wilson, to talk about return-to-office mandates. Let’s get to the interview.

With many big companies imposing return-to-office mandates, what are some common challenges for working women?

Childcare responsibilities and access to available and affordable childcare options for daycare and/or before and after school.

Do the return-to-office mandates put workplace equality at risk? If so, how?

Absolutely. Not just for women or people with childcare responsibilities, but also for people that live regionally, lack access to public transport, people with a physical disability, those with chronic illness, mental illness, and neurodiversity.

Working remotely and/or from home had provided many benefits and opportunities to people that faced barriers to entry or ability to thrive in traditional workplace environments.

What could this mean for working moms moving forward?

Working parents should align with all others in the organization that also benefit from (or rely upon) flexible job design and remote working. Return-to-work mandates impact many more people than working parents, and when the “argument” is presented based on a much broader and larger number of employees – the justification for relooking at how hybrid working should be retained is stronger.

With that in mind, how can employers better support women in the workforce in light of the new mandates?

Relook at “why” you believe you need to mandate a return to the office. What do you expect to gain?

Could you achieve those same desired outcomes with a different approach while also meeting the diverse needs (and not creating more barriers to success) for your employees?

I hope more employers start asking themselves those questions. What do you wish more people knew about inclusion and women in the workplace?

That all women are more than just their gender, and applying the gender label approach to inclusion overlooks the intersectionality and needs of the whole person. To achieve inclusion, the organization needs to create an environment where the 8-inclusion needs of all people are considered and addressed in the way they work and make decisions every day.

More about Dr. Liz Wilson

Dr. Liz Wilson is a behavioral scientist, organizational transformation expert, and founder of Include Inc. Originally from Australia and now based in the United States, Dr. Liz is well known for her authentic, honest, and pragmatic approach to everything she does. This includes her simple, yet powerful, Include Change Method that has achieved amazing results for her clients over the span of her 25+ year career.

Dr. Liz has transformed the ways of working and cultures of dozens of global organizations including; major airlines, banks, consumer goods, telecommunications, mining, rail, tech and medtech companies. With a professional purpose that has always centered around the desire to equip individuals, teams, and organizations to thrive; Dr. Liz’s unrelenting curiosity also led her to research and find the solution to inclusion transformation, and reducing discrimination, with the development of the 8-Inclusion Needs of all People.

Connect with Dr. Liz Wilson online

Dr. Liz Wilson is on LinkedIn. She also kindly provided her email; it is

She has a podcast too! Listen to Include with Dr. Liz on Spotify.


Top photo: Meet Dr. Liz Wilson. Photo used with her permission.

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