70 percent women employees say their workplace is not female friendly!

Nearly 90 percent women professionals say there isn't much equality in their organization when it comes to career

Talk of women empowerment and progression in India Inc. seems to have ignored the basics when it comes to providing meaningful career opportunities to its women employees, as most women professionals don't consider their workplaces women friendly, reveals a TimesJobs study

 As part of the celebrations for International Women's Day last month, TimesJobs undertook an in-depth TJinsite study to gauge the pulse of working women in India with candid inputs from over 2,500 working women.

This report reveals that though most organizations claim to offer equal opportunities to men and women, their own women employees feel very differently, as nearly 90 percent women professionals say there isn't much equality in their organization when it comes to career progression.

They stated that promotions, opportunities for leadership roles, salary increases and incentive programs are biased towards men.

While rating the work aspects which directly or indirectly help in creating a women-friendly workplace, 70 percent women disagreed that their own workplace was female friendly.

Here is what they have to say on other key workplace aspects:

Leadership opportunities   Almost 95 percent respondents rated female representation in their organization's top leadership as poor. Sadly, none of the surveyed women professionals rated women representation in top leadership at their organization as good.

Career opportunities   Over 75 percent women rated the management opportunities provided by their organization for female professionals as poor. In addition, 40 percent women professionals rated satisfaction with their salaries as poor, 50 percent as just average and only 10 percent rated it as good.

Learning opportunities   Given that role transition is now a routine part of working life, continued learning should be viewed as a necessity, but this clearly is not the case for many women professionals who feel they miss out on growth opportunities because of lack of proper training and upskilling initiatives.
Almost 75 percent of women state that learning opportunities at their company is poor.

Mentorship initiatives   In addition, 80 percent women professionals rated sponsorship or mentorship initiatives at their organization as poor. This is surprising, considering corporate mentoring is on the rise with most Fortune 500 companies offering professional mentoring programs to their employees.

Flexibility options   Workplace flexibility remains one of the key reasons for people to join or leave a company. However, 70 percent women employees rate flexibility in their organization as poor. Almost 80 percent of these women professionals are even ready to forego promotions in favor of better work life balance. In addition, 60 percent women professionals rated the ability to telecommute for work as poor, and only 5 percent voted it as good in their organizations.

Maternity provisions   35 percent women professionals rated maternity provisions at their workplace as poor, 55 percent voted them as average and only 10 percent agreed that these provisions were good. While the recent amendments to the maternity bill have given hope to women professionals, the ground reality is that these changes have not been adopted by many companies yet.

Nilanjan Roy, head of Strategy, Times Business Solutions, said: "It is disturbing that even after decades of aggressive efforts to create a level field for women; inequity appears entrenched in Indian organizations. 

"We hope this TimesJobs study is a clarion call for companies to acknowledge this gaping need - look at the problem areas highlighted and find practical solutions to help talented women professionals advance in their careers."

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