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  • Publish Date: Posted about 2 months ago
  • Author:by VANRATH
The importance of visibility for career progression has become a subject of scrutiny and debate. As employers continue to grapple with the transition to hybrid work models, questions surrounding the impact of flexibility on professional advancement, particularly for women, have come to the forefront.

The Hybrid Ceiling

The notion of a "hybrid ceiling" has emerged, shedding light on the potential barriers that individuals, especially women, may encounter in their journey up the corporate ladder. With flexible work arrangements blurring the lines between physical and virtual presence, the challenge of maintaining visibility and securing opportunities for career growth has become increasingly complex.

Visibility and Career Progression

In traditional office settings, visibility often plays a pivotal role in career progression. Being physically present in the workplace allows individuals to forge connections, build relationships, and showcase their contributions effectively. However, as the boundaries between remote and onsite work blur, the criteria for visibility and recognition are undergoing a significant shift.

Hybrid Working and Gender

According to recent statistics, 43% of all jobs in the UK now offer hybrid work options. While this flexibility can offer improved work-life balance and enhanced productivity, it also presents unique challenges, particularly in terms of visibility within the organisation. Women, in particular, are more likely to opt for hybrid roles compared to their male counterparts, raising concerns about equitable access to advancement opportunities.

The Concern for Women Who Opt for Hybrid Working

For women, who may already face systemic barriers in the workplace, the shift to hybrid work models could exacerbate existing challenges. Without the same level of visibility as their colleagues who opt for onsite roles, these women may find themselves at a disadvantage when it comes to accessing mentorship opportunities, securing high-profile projects, or being considered for leadership positions.

How to Counter These Concerns

To address these concerns, employers must rethink their approach to talent management and career development in the context of hybrid work environments. This entails creating inclusive policies and practices that ensure equitable opportunities for all employees, regardless of their work arrangement.

We Asked Our Network: “Should leadership tailor policies to accommodate flexible working arrangements?”

  • 83% said yes
  • 2% said no
  • 1% had another opinion (but did not elaborate)

What are The Solutions?

  • Implement structured mentorship programmes that facilitate virtual connections and networking opportunities. By leveraging technology platforms, employers can create virtual spaces where employees can connect, collaborate, and showcase their achievements, irrespective of their physical location.

  • Re-evaluate traditional metrics of success and performance evaluation. This can help mitigate the impact of visibility constraints. Instead of relying solely on face time or physical presence, employers can prioritise outcomes and results, thereby levelling the playing field for employees working in hybrid roles.

While visibility remains a crucial factor in career advancement, its definition and implications are evolving in the era of hybrid work. By embracing flexibility, leveraging technology, and prioritising inclusivity, organisations can navigate the complexities of the modern workplace and unlock the full potential of their diverse talent pool.