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7 in 10 working women in India quit or consider quitting their jobs due to inflexible work environment: Report

Given the impending guilt and stigma around flexible policies, 1 in every 3 working women in India shies away from telling their clients (34 per cent), colleagues (35 per cent), and friends (33 per cent) that they work flexibly

linkedin reportLinkedIn’s research shows that following the impact of the pandemic, 8 in 10 (83 per cent) of working women have realised they want to work more flexibly. (Representative image)

The online professional network, LinkedIn, today released its latest consumer research report highlighting the challenges faced by women at work. The report is based on 2,266 respondents in India.  The research finds that poor employer sentiment towards flexible working and career breaks is holding women back from asking for greater flexibility and re-entering the workforce. In fact, India’s working women are quitting or considering quitting their jobs in 2022 as pay cuts, bias, and exclusion become their penalties for working flexibly.

72 per cent working women in India reject roles that don’t allow for flexible working

LinkedIn’s research shows that following the impact of the pandemic, 8 in 10 (83 per cent) of working women have realised they want to work more flexibly. In fact the survey finds that 72 per cent of working women are rejecting job roles that don’t allow them to work flexibly, while 70 per cent have already quit or considered quitting their jobs because they weren’t offered the right flexible policies.

When asked about the benefits of flexible working, around 2 in 5 women said it improves their work-life balance (43 per cent) and helps them progress their careers (43 per cent), while 1 in 3 said it improves their mental health (34 per cent) and increases their likelihood of staying in their current jobs (33 per cent).

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But due to strong employer bias, India’s working women are paying heavy penalties to work flexibly. 9 in 10 (88 per cent) working women had to take a pay cut to work flexibly, 2 in 5 (37 per cent) had their flexible working request denied, and 1 in 4 (27 per cent) struggled to convince their bosses to accept their request. This has made women reluctant towards asking for greater flexibility because they fear exclusion, being held back from promotions, working overtime, taking pay cuts, and being treated unfavourably by their superiors.

Given the impending guilt and stigma around flexible policies, 1 in every 3 working women in India shies away from telling their clients (34 per cent), colleagues (35 per cent), and friends (33 per cent) that they work flexibly

77% working women felt a career break had set them back in their careers due to stigma

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As working women continue to juggle between personal commitments and career progress within rigid schedules, 4 in every 5 (78 per cent) working women in India are taking career breaks to improve their well-being, plan career changes, and boost their confidence at work. With 9 in 10 working women using their time off to learn new hard and soft skills, career breaks are helping women to upskill and boost their employability in today’s tight job market.

But despite these benefits of sabbaticals, about 4 in every 5 (77 per cent) working women in India who took a break say that it had actually set them back in their careers. This is due to the prevalent stigma associated with career breaks among recruiters and employers, which has made it difficult for every second (50 per cent) working woman in India to explain their career break to recruiters. As a result, many choose to exclude career breaks from their CVs (42 per cent) or lie about their breaks to potential recruiters when being interviewed (35 per cent).

Forced to tiptoe about their career breaks, 80 per cent of India’s working women wish for ways that would help them represent their career breaks more positively to hiring managers.

 

 

First published on: 12-04-2022 at 12:04 IST
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