Lockdown has hindered career progression of Indian women in tech: Report
According to a survey conducted by Kaspersky, around 76% women working in tech believe that Covid-19 and the lockdown has delayed their career progression.
According to a survey, around 76% women working in technology believe that Covid-19 and its effects have delayed their career progression while 54% Indian women are of the opinion that gender equality is “more likely to be achieved through remote working structures”.
The lockdown period should have been the time there could have been a significant move towards equal gender opportunity in IT posts, but lingering social biases have hindred that opportunity.
Kaspersky's new report called “Women in Tech report, Where are we now?” which focused on understanding the evolution of women in technology, found that almost 38% Indian women working in tech/IT industry did prefer working at home over working from the office.
A similar number said that they work more efficiently while working from home, and as many as 36% revealed they have more autonomy when not working in an office.
However, a more concerning factor that has emerged from the survey highlights that the potential of remote work for women in tech is not being matched by corresponding social progression. Almost half of the women (44%) working in technology have struggled to juggle work and family life since March 2020 – a figure that is at its most prominent in India but is also a consistent worldwide trend.
If one digs deeper, the reasons for this imbalance becomes obvious. When female respondents were asked about the day-to-day functions that are detracting from productivity or work progression,
- 54% said they had done the majority of cleaning in the home compared to 33% of men,
- 54% had been in charge of home schooling compared to 40% of men
- 50% of women have had to adapt their working hours more than their male partner in order to look after the family
Adding it all up, about 76% of women in India believe that Covid-19 and the lockdown have actually delayed their overall career progression.
“The effect of the pandemic broadly differed for women. Some appreciated the greater flexibility and lack of commute from working at home, whilst others shared that they were on the verge of burnout. It's paramount that companies ensure their managers are aligned with their strategy to support employees with caregiving responsibilities,” said Dr Patricia Gestoso, Head of Scientific Customer Support at BIOVIA, 2020 Women in Software Changemakers winner, and prominent member of professional women's network, Ada's List.
“The other significant trend that the pandemic has accelerated is the co-existence of remote and hybrid employees within the same organization. This can be a challenge for women working remotely as they may experience less access to top management working from offices. This may decrease their chances to be considered for the kind of stretch assignments that lead to promotions. Employers need to be conscious of those disadvantages and plan accordingly to minimise them,” Gestoso added.
Truth be told, while social disparity is not tech-specific, they point towards a barrier that is preventing women from capitalising on the opportunities and the benefits of remote work.