More than two-fifths (44 per cent) of employers believe remote working has led women to exit the workforce due to the potential for longer workdays, according to a new survey by Mercer Canada.

The global survey found more than half (52 per cent) of male respondents said they’ve experienced shorter workdays while working remotely, but just 40 per cent of women said they’ve benefited in this way. Nearly three-quarters (73 per cent) of men felt empowered to take as much time off as they want as long as they meet their goals, compared to 63 per cent of women.

Female respondents also said they felt less energized than their male counterparts and were less likely to describe themselves as “thriving,” citing burnout due to mental exhaustion from the coronavirus pandemic and workload. By comparison, male respondents cited burnout due to a lack of perceived fairness and lack of community.

Read: Head to head: Should employers worry about time theft with remote workers?

When it comes to flexible working, men were more likely (55 per cent) to favour returning to the office than women (48 per cent). And 67 per cent of men said they believe more work gets done in an office, compared to 53 per cent of women.

Two-thirds of female leaders said they worry top talent won’t return to in-person working, compared to just over half of male leaders. While women executives ranked cultivating diversity, equity and inclusion as the most important workplace practice, male executives said re-skilling opportunities are paramount.

A third (34 per cent) of female executives felt they haven’t made much progress on building a DEI enterprise, compared to 27 per cent of male leaders. And only two-fifths of male executives said they plan to invest in monitoring for discriminatory algorithms and rating systems in 2022.

Read: Most U.S. employers haven’t embedded DEI, accessibility initiatives into daily processes: survey