Gender bias against working women strongest in India: LinkedIn

One in 5 (22 percent) working women in India said their companies exhibit a ‘favorable bias’ towards men at work when compared to the regional average of 16 percent, according to LinkedIn’s Opportunity Index 2021 report. 
Even though 66 percent 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. 
A deeper analysis shows that more women in India have experienced the impact of gender on career development when compared to the APAC region. In India, more than 4 in 5 working women (85 percent) claim to have missed out on a raise, promotion, or work offer because of their gender, compared to the regional average of 60 percent.
The Index highlighted that the difference in perception of available opportunities in the market for men and women in India. While 37 percent of India’s working women say they get fewer opportunities than men, only 25 percent of men agree with this. 
This disparity in perception is also seen in conversations about equal pay, as more women (37 percent) say they get less pay than men, while only 21 percent of 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 a good work-life balance. But despite having similar goals, more women (63 percent) think a person’s gender is important to get ahead in life when compared to men (54 percent).
Familial duties Vs. Career development 
Consumer sentiment from the report shows that more than 7 in 10 working women (71 percent) and working mothers (77 percent) feel that managing familial responsibilities often come in their way of career development. 
In fact, about two-thirds of working women (63 percent) and working mothers (69 percent) said they have faced discrimination at work because of familial and household responsibilities.
While job security is critical for working women across India, women are laying more emphasis on the type of employer they choose to work with, the recognition they will receive for the work they do, and the skills that will be utilized on the job. 
As per LinkedIn’s findings, they are actively seeking employers who treat them as equal (50 percent), while 56 percent are looking to get recognition at work for what they do.
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.
Need for Robust maternity policies and flexibility programs
Women have been disproportionately impacted amid Covid-19, and the expectations to juggle home and work life have wreaked havoc in their lives. As a result of the barriers faced by women at work, more than 1 in 2 women and working mothers in India expect organizations to offer reduced or part-time schedules (56 percent) and robust maternity leaves and policies (55 percent) to make the transition smoother.
Telecommuting or Work-From-Home has also been appreciated by women across the workforce in India during the pandemic, and it is seen as the top-ranking demand for women in the workforce today, along with other flexibility programs.
More than 1 in 2 women are also looking for more professional connections and mentors who can help them advance their careers, as 65 percent women agree that lack of guidance through networks is a key opportunity barrier. 

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