LinkedIn, has launched the Opportunity Index 2021 report to understand how people, especially women seek opportunities and the challenges that stand in the way of achieving them. This combined statistics which is released toward International Women’s day, attempts to identify women workforce’s barriers and hurdles in career progression and upskilling.
In a nutshell, the findings show that 85% women not getting promotions due to gender biasness as well as 9 in 10 (89%) women state that they were negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
To understand, lets deep dive into this ocean of updates that we share with you:
Women workforce’s fight for equal pay and opportunities in gender biased APAC
India’s working women still contend the strongest gender bias across Asia Pacific countries. When asked about their reasons for being unhappy with opportunities to advance in their careers, 1 in 5 (22%) working women in India said their companies exhibit a ‘favourable bias’ towards men at work, when compared to the regional average of 16%.
The deeper analysis of the report highlights the difference in perception of available opportunities in the market for men and women in India. While 37% of India’s working women say they get fewer opportunities than men, only 25% of men agree with this. This disparity in perception is also seen in conversations about equal pay, as more women (37%) say they get less pay than men, while only 21% men share this sentiment. In India, more than 4 in 5 working women (85%) claim to have missed out on a raise, promotion, or work offer because of their gender, compared to the regional average of 60%.
7 out of 10 women’s career progression impeded by lack of time and skilling
The report shows that more than 7 in 10 working women (71%) and working mothers (77%) feel that managing familial responsibilities often comes in their way of career development. In fact, about two-thirds of working women (63%) and working mothers (69%) said they have faced discrimination at work because of familial and household responsibilities.
More than 1 in 2 women are also looking for more professional connections and mentors who can help them advance their careers, as 65% women agree that lack of guidance through networks is a key opportunity barrier.
Lack of required professional skills and a lack of guidance through networks and connections are also some of the other barriers that get in the way of career development for working women in India.
Organizations should step up to provide robust maternity policies and flexibility programs
Women have been disproportionately impacted amid COVID-19, and the expectations to juggle home and work life have wreaked havoc in their lives. As a result of the barriers faced by women at work, more than 1 in 2 women and working mothers in India expect organizations to offer reduced or part-time schedules (56%) and robust maternity leaves and policies (55%) to make the transition smoother.
Telecommuting or Work-From-Home has also been appreciated by women across the workforce in India during the pandemic, and it is seen as the top-ranking demand for women in the workforce today, along with other flexibility programs.
Systemic Issue of gender equality in APAC societies
In India, the top three job opportunities sought by both men and women are job security, a job that they love, and good work-life balance yet despite having similar goals, more women (63%) think a person’s gender is important to get ahead in life, when compared to men (54%).
“Gender inequality at work and added domestic responsibilities amid the pandemic have collectively made women’s jobs more vulnerable at this time. As COVID-19 continues to widen these gaps, this year’s LinkedIn Opportunity Index report suggests that it is the need of the hour for organizsations to reimagine their diversity practices and offer greater flexibility to caregivers, in order to increase female participation in the workforce. Reduced and flexible schedules, more sabbaticals, and new opportunities to upskill and learn are critical offerings that can help organizations attract, hire, and retain more female talent,” says Ruchee Anand, Director, Talent and Learning Solutions, India at LinkedIn.
LinkedIn commissioned independent market research firm GfK, to conduct this research between 26 to 31 January 2021. The fieldwork was conducted in 7 APAC markets including Australia, China, India, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines and SIngapore.
Gender diversity is an integral part of today’s world and the report emphasizes the importance of equality and sensitivity to each employee. Thus, this report validates the need to provide an equal platform for the women workforce in the business world and diversify the future.