Despite the increase in discussion and commitment towards diversity and inclusion by India Inc., 85% women believe they were overlooked for a raise, promotion or job offer because of their gender last year.
What's more, one in five working women in the country felt their firm showed "favourable bias" towards the male colleagues. These were the findings that came out from professional network platform LinkedIn’s recent Opportunity Index 2021 report. The report looked at understanding how women perceived opportunities, impact of gender gap on their careers, especially during covid-19 pandemic. The survey for the report, which was conducted in January, saw participation from 2,285 people, of which 1053 were women.
As many as 89% working women admitted to covid-19 having an adverse impact on their professional lives, with seven in 10 women pointing to lack of time and family care as roadblocks to them not being able to progress in their careers. In fact, two-thirds of working women and working mothers felt discriminated against at work because of family and household responsibilities they undertook, the report highlights. Not having the necessary skills, lack of guidance and networking were other hurdles they felt that affected their careers.
What’s interesting is that while both men and women were looking for the same things in a job– job security, a job they love, and work-life balance – 63% women perceive that gender plays a crucial role in professional success, and more than half the men (54%) felt this way. As a result of this perception, women are increasingly looking for employers who treat them equal, and give them the recognition for the work they do.
As women have a to negotiate lot of societal expectations as well, 56% women and working mothers want their organisations to offer flexible work schedules, with 56% wanting robust maternity leaves and policies.
“Gender inequality at work, and added domestic responsibilities amid the pandemic have collectively made women’s jobs more vulnerable at this time. The report suggests that it is the need of the hour for organisations to reimagine their diversity practices and offer greater flexibility to caregivers, in order to increase female participation in the workforce,” says Ruchee Anand, director, talent and learning solutions, LinkedIn India.
Overall, nine out of 10 professionals were affected by covid-19 in terms of job retrenchment, pay cuts and reduced working hours. In addition to this, 65% felt their productivity had dipped due to working from home. Too many distractions, poor internet connectivity, and difficulty in planning work were some of the top reasons that were cited.