Around 70 per cent of working women in India have quit or considered leaving their jobs as they were not offered the right flexible policies after the COVID-19 pandemic, a new survey has found.
The data is based according to a survey by the online professional network, LinkedIn. The latest consumer research report highlights the challenges women face at work and the report is based on 2,266 respondents in India.
According to the research, poor employer sentiment towards flexible working and career breaks keeps women from asking for greater flexibility and re-entering the workforce. In fact, the country's working women are quitting or considering quitting their jobs in 2022 as bias, pay cuts and exclusion become their penalties for working flexibly.
72% Of Working Women Reject Roles That Don't Allow For Flexible Working
LinkedIn's research revealed that following the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, 8 in 10 (83 per cent) of working women in India have realised they want to work more flexibly. In fact, the survey pointed out that 72 per cent of working women reject job roles that do not allow them to work flexibly, while 70 per cent have already resigned or considered quitting their jobs as they were not offered the right flexible policies.
When asked about the merits of flexible working, nearly two in five women (43 per cent) said it improves their work-life balance and helps them progress in their careers (43 per cent), while one in three pointed out it improves their mental well being (34 per cent) and rises their likelihood of staying in their present jobs (33 per cent), The Indian Express reported.
But due to solid employer bias, the working women in India are paying heavy penalties to work flexibly. Nine out of ten (88 per cent) working women had to take a pay cut to work flexibly, two in five (37 per cent) had their flexible working request denied, and one in four (27 per cent) struggled to convince their seniors to accept their request. It has made women reluctant towards asking for greater flexibility because they fear exclusion, working overtime, being held back from promotions, taking pay cuts, and being treated unfavourably by their bosses.
Given the impending stigma and guilt around flexible policies, one in every three working women in the country shies away from telling their colleagues (35 per cent), clients (34 per cent) and friends (33 per cent) that they work flexibly.
77% Of Working Women Felt A Career Break Set Them Back In Their Careers
As working women continue to struggle between personal commitments and career progression within rigid schedules, four in every five (78 per cent) working females in India take career breaks to improve their physical or mental health, plan career changes, and boost their confidence at work. With nine in 10 working women having their time off to learn new hard and soft skills, career breaks are helping females to boost and upskill their employability in the current tight job market.
But despite these benefits of sabbaticals, nearly four in every five (77 per cent) working women in the country, who took a break, say that it had set them back in their careers. It is due to the prevalent stigma associated with career breaks among employers and recruiters, which has made it tough for every second (50 per cent) working woman in India to explain their career break to recruiters. As a result, many of them choose to exclude career breaks from their resumes (42 per cent) or lie about their breaks to potential hiring managers when being interviewed (35 per cent).
Forced to tiptoe about their career breaks, 80 per cent of working women in India wish for methods that would help them represent their career breaks more positively to recruiters.