News: Female applicants' marital status, age weigh heavier than males in hiring: HR Survey

Talent Acquisition

Female applicants' marital status, age weigh heavier than males in hiring: HR Survey

Hiring managers exhibit a notable preference for considering a female applicant's marital status and age in their evaluations, in stark contrast to their approach with male applicants.
Female applicants' marital status, age weigh heavier than males in hiring: HR Survey

A recent study sheds light on the prevalent issue of heightened gendered scrutiny by HR departments, particularly focusing on aspects such as marital status, age, and location in the evaluation of female applicants.

Women in India Inc HR Managers Survey report revealed that 34% of women leave their jobs due to work-life balance issues, while only 4% of men face similar challenges. 

The report highlighted that the top three reasons for women leaving their organisations were salary concerns, limited career opportunities, and work-life balance issues. In contrast, men cited salary concerns, limited career opportunities, and uncertainty about future employment direction as their primary reasons for leaving. 

"This suggests that policies to retain women in the workplace need to specifically address this issue," the report said. 

The report also brought to light that hiring managers are significantly more inclined to take into account a female applicant's marital status and age when evaluating her for a position compared to a male applicant. 

This bias can erect barriers to the recruitment of more women. "38 per cent of human resource managers considered the women's marital status, whereas only 22 per cent did so in the case of male candidates," it added. 

Likewise, when it comes to women, age and location were somewhat more likely to be taken into account. Among women, 43% and 26% of managers are inclined to consider age and location, respectively, compared to 39% and 21% in men. 

Conversely, HR managers were discovered to be more inclined to consider men's academic background and work experience, with 79% and 80% respectively, compared to women, where the figures were slightly lower at 73% and 72%. 

Additionally, 59% of the survey respondents indicated that their organisations had not established Internal Complaints Committees as mandated by the Prevention of Sexual Harassment (POSH) Act. 

This highlights a significant gap in addressing sexual harassment concerns affecting women. "This can deter individuals from coming forward due to both lack of knowledge and absence of established procedures, signalling a disregard for workplace safety," said Shruti Vidyasagar, lawyer and POSH Law practitioner. 

The report also noted that 36% of companies did not provide maternity leave benefits, and this lack of provision was consistent across sectors, company sizes, and levels of women's representation. 

"Women face many constraints at home, which are familiar and oft-discussed. but they also face significant barriers in accessing jobs, and if they get in, continuing and advancing at the workplace. Employers can play a huge role in changing the status-quo by taking concrete steps to ease barriers to women's employment, retention and re-entry," said Ashwini Deshpande, professor and head (Department of Economics) and founding director at CEDA, Ashoka University.

The report, conducted by The Udaiti Foundation in collaboration with Godrej DEi Labs, Centre for Economic Data & Analysis, Ashoka University, and Dasra, is based on a survey of 200 senior human resource managers. 

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Topics: Talent Acquisition, #Hiring, #HRTech, #HRCommunity

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