Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Women @ Work 2024: India market outlook

The fourth annual Women @ Work report from Deloitte looks at a number of important workplace and cultural issues that significantly affect women’s career opportunities. The primary objective of the report is to comprehend women’s real-world experiences at work and how particular aspects of their personal lives can influence these situations. The adverse effects of the pandemic and the difficulties we faced in recovering from it dominated previous reporting. In addition to examining these topics further, this year’s report digs further into women’s experiences with their rights, health, safety, and domestic duties.

The study reveals the opinions of five thousand women from organizations in ten different countries, representing women employed in the financial services, energy, resources, and industrial sectors, government and public services, business services, consumer, life sciences and health care, and technology, media, and telecommunications sectors.

A gist of the Women Work report 

  • Many women expressed anxiety about their mental health in addition to feeling more uncomfortable discussing or disclosing it at work.
  • Many women were managing their pain and menstrual-related or menopausal symptoms without taking a break.
  • Women’s rights served as the primary social concern for women.
  • Women were responsible for the majority of home activities, such as taking care of others.
  • Certain aspects of hybrid work environments have improved, but not all of them.
  • In the preceding year, 44% of the respondents reported experiencing exploitation or micro-aggression at work, and many of them chose not to notify their bosses.

Deloitte’s Report revealing women’s careers

Similar to their international counterparts, almost all Indian women think that asking for or utilizing flexible work arrangements could negatively impact their ability to advance in their careers. A comparable majority believe they are unable to discuss work/life balance issues with their superiors and do not believe that accepting flexible work arrangements would result in a change in their workload.

Previous studies have focused mostly on the pandemic’s adverse effects and the difficulties we faced in recovering from them. In addition to examining these topics further, this year’s report goes further into the hardships of women regarding their rights, health, safety, and domestic duties.

Long work hours grind women, and they experience higher levels of stress

More than a year ago, half of the women reported experiencing higher stress levels. Additionally, over two-thirds of women felt uncomfortable discussing their mental wellness at work or disclosing mental health as the reason for taking time off. Despite this, one-third of them indicated that they had taken time off for mental health reasons in the past year. This year’s data also shows a correlation between the number of hours spent at work and mental well-being.

Work/life balance and adaptability are essential for retention

Low work/life balance and inequality of freedom in working hours are the primary reasons given by women who are now expecting to leave their workplace and join another company. Poor work/life balance, insufficient income, and a lack of flexibility are the main reasons given by women who quit their jobs in the previous year. Even while flexibility is important, fewer women than the previous year felt that their employers encouraged them to manage their obligations outside of work in addition to their professional responsibilities.

A lot of ladies are coping with pain

Over 25% of women report having dealt with issues pertaining to periods, menopause, or fertility. When it comes to menstruation or menopause, almost 40% of women report that they manage their severe pain levels without taking time off of work. While this percentage is mainly unchanged from the previous year, it is much higher for menopause. Women are frequently reluctant to bring up these topics at work.

Women are adjusting to their home and professional life due to return-to-office regulations

The challenges women face with hybrid employment, especially related to rejection, stability, and adaptability, have improved this year. Still, 25% of women who are being asked to return to work say that the requirement has had a negative impact on their mental health and the same percentage claim that it has decreased their productivity.

When caring for other adults and children, women who live with a partner are still primarily responsible

This year, half of women who are single and have children at home are more responsible for childcare than they were last year—a rise from 46%. Almost 60% of women who assist in caring for another adult think they bear the majority of the blame, up from 44% previously. Research indicates that women who bear the majority of family chores are less likely to claim good mental health compared to others.

Women are experiencing a lack of safety in the workplace, and discriminatory practices remain

Many women are worried about their personal safety at work or on business trips. While fewer women report encountering non-inclusive behaviors such as harassment or aggression at work, 43% of women still report experiencing one or more of these behaviors in the previous year. However, many of these actions go unreported – over 40% of women who have encountered criticism and over a third of women who have suffered sexual harassment chose not to report it to their organization.

Last words

The India market outlook report sheds light on the significant challenges and issues faced by women working for various employers across different fields, such as financial services and public services. Moreover, the report reveals that women’s careers are often harmed by experiences of exploitation or microaggressions at work, and many of them choose not to report these incidents to their superiors.

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