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76% of Indian women in tech believe Covid-19 hindered their career progression: Report

Hemani Sheth Mumbai | Updated on January 26, 2021

Though 44 per cent of women in technology have struggled to juggle work and family life since March 2020

54% of Indian women feel that gender equality is more likely to be achieved through remote working structures, the report said

A majority of women working in technology face lockdown barriers to career progression, according to a new report by cybersecurity firm Kaspersky.

According to the report, 76 per cent of Indian women in tech believe that the effects of Covid-19 have delayed their career progression.

54 per cent of Indian women feel that gender equality is more likely to be achieved through remote working structures, the report said.

“While lockdown life was earmarked as a possible accelerator towards equal gender opportunity in IT positions, lingering social biases have hindered this potential breakthrough period,” it said.

38 per cent of Indian women working in the tech/IT industry, however, do prefer working at home to working in the office. 36 per cent of women respondents said that they have more autonomy when not working in an office.

Though 44 per cent of women in technology have struggled to juggle work and family life since March 2020.

As per the report, when asked about the day-to-day functions distracting them from productivity or work progression, 54 per cent of female respondents said they had done the majority of cleaning in the home compared to 33 per cent of men.

54 per cent of respondents said that they had been in charge of homeschooling compared to 40 per cent of men. While 50 per cent of women have had to adapt their working hours more than their male partner in order to look after the family.

“As a result, 76 per cent of women in India believe that the effects of Covid-19 have actually delayed, rather than enhanced, their overall career progression,” the report said.

“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 Patricia Gestoso, Head of Scientific Customer Support at BIOVIA.

“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.

The report further added that 52 per cent of women in tech believed an equal working environment to be best for career progression. While 54 per cent of them think that remote working is an optimum way to achieve that equality.

Merici Vinton, Co-Founder and CEO at Ada’s List added, "Companies need to signal, both through culture and policy, that they will give working parents of both genders the flexibility they need during Covid (and beyond).”

“If the tech realm takes the lead and ensures a more flexible and balanced environment for women, then it will become the norm more quickly, which is more likely to trigger a change in social dynamics too. Moving forward, we as an industry must build on this momentum, extract the positives from the past year’s transition to flexible working, and be a catalyst for wider social change as a result,” said Evgeniya Naumova, Vice President of the Global Sales Network at Kaspersky.

Kaspersky had commissioned Arlington Research to undertake research among men and women working in technology or IT roles in November to December 2020 across 19 global markets.

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Published on January 26, 2021
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