Deloitte’s annual Women@Work survey, now in its third year, finds some signs of progress for the female sex in the workplace, but equally other factors have worsened since last year. The report which surveyed 5,000 women across 10 countries, including 500 in India across age groups, employment status, sectors, and seniority finds there were fewer non-inclusive behaviours and a bolder younger generation emerging, however mental health and flexibility concerns remained high.

Reflective of the global trend, women in India experienced fewer non-inclusive behaviours in 2023 than in 2022. The instance fell by almost 10 percentage points to 48 per cent. Those who did experience such behaviours, said that micro-aggressions more than doubled. The most commonly experienced non-inclusive behavior was being interrupted or talked over during meetings. Similarly, there’s a sharp drop in women reporting a lack of exposure to leaders, or feeling excluded from meetings, decisions and informal interactions.

While levels of stress and burnout continue to be high globally and in India, encouragingly, youngsters were comfortable talking about mental health in the workplace. Women reported better hybrid working experiences compared to year. However, more women in India working in hybrid environments are also reporting a lack of predictability (28 per cent now vs 15 per cent in 2022) and flexibility (32 per cent now vs 13 per cent in 2022), as well as clarity around their employer’s expectations compared to last year.