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Pandemic Widened Gender Gap at Workplace as 85% Women Missed Out on Hike, Finds Survey

Image for representative purpose only.

Image for representative purpose only.

LinkedIn Opportunity Index 2021 said that 69 per cent of working mothers face discrimination due to familial responsibilities.

Women have been disproportionately impacted amid the Covid-19 pandemic in India and 85 per cent of those surveyed have missed out on a raise and promotion because of their gender, a new LinkedIn report revealed on Tuesday. Highlighting critical gender gaps and opportunity barriers faced by women and mothers at the workplace in the country, the LinkedIn Opportunity Index 2021 said that 69 per cent of working mothers face discrimination due to familial responsibilities.

The findings showed that nine in 10 (89 per cent) women stated that they were negatively impacted by the pandemic. Even though 66 per cent of people in India feel that gender equality has improved compared to their parents’ age, 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 per cent) working women in India said their companies exhibit a ‘favourable bias’ towards men at work, when compared to the regional average of 16 per cent.

“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,” said Ruchee Anand, Director, Talent and Learning Solutions, India, at LinkedIn.

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Reduced and flexible schedules, more sabbaticals, and new opportunities to upskill and learn are critical offerings that can help organisations attract, hire, and retain more female talent, she added. While 37 per cent of working women said they get fewer opportunities than men, only 25 per cent of men agree with this.

This disparity in perception is also seen in conversations about equal pay, as more women (37 per cent) say they get less pay than men, while only 21 per cent men share this sentiment. 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. But despite having similar goals, more women (63 per cent) think a person’s gender is important to get ahead in life, when compared to men (54 per cent), the report mentioned.

In fact, about two-thirds of working women (63 per cent) and working mothers (69 per cent) said they have faced discrimination at work because of familial and household responsibilities. 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, the report mentioned.

More than one in two women are also looking for more professional connections and mentors who can help them advance their careers, as 65 per cent women agreed that lack of guidance through networks is a key opportunity barrier, the LinkedIn report added.

first published:March 02, 2021, 14:40 IST